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*< Extra Ecclesiam Catholicam totum poteet pneter salutem.*' 
« Ubi PiTBUf, ibi ] 


I CO., 164 William Street. 

28 Federal Street. 


IE AND St. Francis Xayier Sts. 


Digitized by LjOOQ IC 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 18M, bj 


lii the Gieik'B Office of the SieUict Court of the District of MasskchosetliL 


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CTlie foUotDttlJX ^KUBU 






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1. Self-defence aot the object of the jetter. —2. Motives whicb impelled 
. to an examination of Catholic truth. — 3. The straggle with myself in 
coming to the examination. — 4. The feelings in which it was under- 
taken. — 5. What is the essential prerequisite to an examination of 
the question between Catholics and Protestants . . • . II 


L This argued from the fact of man's wants and of Ood's revelation, 
God*s promise and God's provision. — 2. Argued from the confidence 
that, under the circumstances, is reasonably expected from man to- 
wards God. — 3. Ending with a friendly caution . . • . . 99 


ood's beyelation to be beceiyed and subkittbd 
TO without kesebye. 

1. The case stated. — 2. God's revelation to be received in all its parts, 
from the simple fact of its having been made by God. — 3. From the 
teaching of God Himself in various examples from His written Word 83 





1 AH'Christians concur in the belief, that God's Spirit must guide into 
all truth. — 2. In what way has God secured to us the guidance of His 
Holy Spirit? — 3. It must be a way of universal applicability. — 4. It 
must be a ^ay suited especially to the condition of the poor. ^5. It 
must be a way calculated to promote ** unity in the Faith."— 6. In 
all these respects the way of Protestants Cadis .... 97 

1* («) 




1. High-Churchmen admit the duty of all to "hear the Church.»»- 
a They admit this because instructed by the Fathers— a But the 
unreasonableness of admitting it in any modified sense.— 4. The ap- 
plication of the precept " hear the Church," to myself, as a leader, 
and the effect of discovering my inability to teach ... 43 


I. The necessity of the Church's guidance as great now as It ever ha« 
been. —3. No proof from Scripture or reason that such guidance wai • 
ever to cease to be infallible. — 3. The infallibility of the Church 
rests not upon the wisdom of man, but the power of God. —4. The 
union of Christ with His body the Church, secures its infallibility.— 
5. The testimony of the primitive Fathers in this particular . 60 


church's IJWTTBR DATS. 
1. The testimonies of the Fathers.— 2. Christ will not disappoint those 
who have trusted Him 60 


1. This Clear, from the Scriptural illustrations of unity.— 2. From our 
Lord's prayer for unity. — 3. From the uniform testimonies of the 
* Fathers. — 4. In unity Catholicity necessarily embraced.— 5. Thia 
proved from the Fathers.- 6. Application of the argument to Prot- 
estantism . 74 





L An examination, under this head, of the claims of the Church of Eng- 
land and America. — 3. England virtually disclaims infallibility. — 
3. The dreadful consequence • 84 

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axqijICLs authority fubtheb oonsidbbbd. 

1. The authority of the English Church not Catholic — 2: The c 
quence, her teaching not Catholic — 3. Her own admiaeione. ^4. An 
inquiry into Anfj^ioan inconaistency.— & The ultimate Catholic tri- . 
bunal or standard . . 87 



1. llie reasonableness of this question. — 2. Is she to be trusted before 
Ok after the Reformation ? — 3. Is she to be trusted under Heniy VIII., 
or under Edward VL, or under Mary, or under Elizabeth, or how? — 

4. Is she to be trusted as she speaks in her Prayer book, or aa she 
speaks in opposition to its plain sense by the Queen's Court? — 

5. The necessary confusion and uncertainty under such a system 90 



1. On the principle that we are to hear the Church, to whom are we to 
listen from the time of Augustine to the time of Henry V III. ? — 3. We 
are to hear a speaking Church, not dumb books. —3. Wydiffe a here- 
tic according to the faith of the Anglo-Saxon Church . 97 






1. A test of Mr. Palmer's principle of Reformation by *< the authority of 
Catholic Tradition.*' —2. The absurdity of his principle as applied to 
the facts of the English Reformation. —a Wliat tradition is. — 4. Tra^- 
dition, to have authority, must be submitted to and trusted. — 5. Ori- 
gin and source of Tradition. — 6. Its perpetuity, as viewed by the 
Fathers. — 7. Applied to England.— 8. Not derogatory to God's 

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1. Why M little it nid in the New Testament aboat Church order and 
Sacraments. — St. Tradition necessary to establish infant baptism, the 
neceaiity of sanctifying the Lord's day, ice. —3. Why so little is found 
in regard to certain points of Catholic fiiith and practice in the very 
early Church. —4. Nothing added to the fundamental Faith by the 
Church .118 



1. The Protestant alleged motive for the Reformation a mere fancy.— 
2. The real motive personal to Henry VIIL ^ 3. The resistance of the 
Church in the outset. — 4. Her submission through fear. — 5. The 
transfer of the whole spiritual Jurisdiction from the See of St. Peter 
to the king. — 6. Acts of parliament and Protestant testimoniee con- 
firm this. — 7. The king made the living standard of faith as well as 
the source of priestly authority^ 135 



1. Acts of parliament conclusive. — SL The changes of Queen Maiy 
Justified on every principle, and effected without a struggle. — 3. The 
changes of Elizabeth on every ground unlawful, and forced upon the 
Church against the will of every bishop, the convocation, and the two 
universities. — 4. The new system of things passed through pariia- 
ment, not only against the vote of every bishop, but also by means of 
imprisoning two bishops, and creating five new Peers . 143 



L Act of William IV. sufficient. —2. The case of the American Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church shown to be the same as that of the Mother 
in England. ~ 3. The entire independence of the American laity. — 

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. The application of the facts of the case. ~ 5. Who sent Archbishop 
Parker ? Who gave him the faith, — the faith of the one Catholic 
Chuich. — 6. The application of the facts to myself ... US 






1 Reflections on the Act of Separation by parliament. ^2. Whidi 
claim of jurisdiction over the Church, that of the king or the Pope, 
most likely, by the rules o{ common sense, to be well founded ? — 
3. The necessity of a head to the body considered. — 4. The &ctof 
the Pope's present Supremacy considered. — S. The testimony of 
heretics to the Supremacy, either directly or indirectly. — 6. A grad- 
nal growth of the Papal power not tenable. — 7. The Scriptural ar- 
gument for the Primacy of St. Peter. — 8. The Catholic interpretation 
of St. John i. 35, and St Matt. zxi. 16, abundantly sustained hf the 
Fathers. —9. The authority of St Peter touching the Faith set forth 
in St John zxi. 15-17, as interpreted by the Fathers. — 10. The 
Scriptural argument applied to myself ...... 158 





>. The primitive Church aflbrds just such testimony to the claims of St 
Peter as the circumstances call for. — 2. The Apostolic See, accordr- 
ing to the Fathers, the centre of Catholic unity, the keeper of the 
Catholic Faith, and the source of Catholic authority. —3. Sztraordi- 
nary assertion of Dr. Wordsworth in his book ** Theophilus Angli- 
canus." — 4. Shown to be utterly without foundation in every par- 
Ciculaff 179 



1 The extraordinary assertion of Blackstone in reference to the Anglo- 
Saxon Church shown to be false. — 2. The Anglo-Saxon Chureh Cathr- 
olic, and submissive to the Holy See of Rome. — 3. The case of St 
Augustine considered.— 4. The document which puts a speech into 
the mouth of Dinoth against the Supremacy shown to be spurious.— 
6. The application of the argument for the Supremacy.— 6. The sum 
of the whole matter, — 7. A confession and a warning conclusion 91S 

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Dear Brethren and Friends, 

It is due both to you and myself, as it is 
'more especially to the cause of God, that I yield, 
without loss of time, to the promptings of my heart 
and conscience, and lay before you, as best I can, 
the reasons which have constrained me to take so 
serious, and to many dear ones, as well as to my- 
self, so trying a step as that of abandoning the 
position in which I had acted as a Minister of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church for more than thirty- 
years, and as a Bishop of the same for more than 
twenty years,, and of seeking, at my time of life, 
admission, as a mere laymauy into " the Holy Cath- 
olic Church," and with no prospect before me 
but simply peace of conscience, and the salvation 
of my soul. 

That for many years I have been more or less 
doubtful of my position as a Protestant, and feel- 
ing about me for some surer ground on which to 
stand in view of a judgment to come, is a matter 
too much interwoven in the history of the last few 


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years of my Episcopate to be, in any important 
respect, new to you. That, in this state of baffling 
\mcertainty, and under the trying circumstances it 
brought with it, I always acted wisely, or with 
perfect consistency, is more than I dare either af- 
firm or believe. Bather would I turn from the 
too generally worse than useless task of self-de- 
fence, and humbly seek refuge in the compassion 
of Him " Who hath borne our infirmities," and in 
the forbearance of those who have themselves felt 
the weight of these infirmities, in a doubtful, but 
earnest struggle to find and keep the narrow way 
of life. To the mariner, inured to the peculiar 
hardships of the sea, it will be no cause of wonder 
that one tossed upon the bosom of its treacherous 
waves, now toihng amid conflicting elements, and 
then distracted and deceived by shifting mists, 
should, in making his way to the shore, describe a 
somewhat devious track. Should any of my old « 
friends and companions require of me still further 
explanation of seeming inconsistencies, they will 
find it in a too great effort on my part to remain a 
Protestant, Here, commending myself to Him 
who will one day " make the justice of the op- 
pressed clear as the light," I take final leave of the 
subject of self-apology f and invite you at once to 
a consideration of the history of my mind in its 
progress to Catholicism. 

And if, in giving it, I should seem to any to 
make too much reference to myself, my plea will 
be found in the nature of the undertaking ; viz., to 

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present the train of thoughts and reasonings through 
which my own mind has passed in its progress to a 
certain faith. 

In the outset, let me recall the fact, that for 
years a mysterious influence, which I could neither 
fully comprehend nor entirely throw off, visited 
my mind, unsetthng its peace, and filling it with 
yearnings for something in religion more real than 
I had hitherto experienced.* 

Under such impulses, my thoughts were natu- 
rally led beyond the narrow limits of mere Protes- 
tant theology to the teachings of early Catholic 
Fathers, and of such as seemed to be based upon 
them in later times. At this period Moehler^s Sym^ 
holism was put into my hand. I read it, examined 
its statements with care, and laid it down with an 
increased desire to know more fully the system of 
which it had given me, in a spirit of such fairness 
and love, so beautiful an outline. 

Now it was, however, that the progress of my 

* I have here thought it not right to omit a circumstance to which I can 
distinctly trace some of my earliest fears, that something might be wrong in 
respect to what I had received as the facts of Protestantism — or the real 
history of the Catholic Faith. Being invited by the University of North Caro- 
lina, in the year 1844, to deliver the introductory Lecture before the Histori- 
cal Society of the Institution recently formed, I took for ray subject the 
Principles wJwA must govern %ts in arriving at the facts of History. This led 
me, by way of illustration, to apply these principles to some of the com- 
monly-received theories of the English Reformation — particulariy in regard 
to the real motive of the movement under Henry VIII., and to the real char- 
acter of the events under the subsequent Catholic reign of Mary — and to my 
surprise I found in the course of examination, that my own views became 
seriously changed, especially as regarded the latter j and from the circum- 
stance, felt bound at the time to warn my auditory against the common no- 
tion ; and ever after, to guard ray own mind in the study of history against 
oversided party representations. ^ 



inquiry received a sudden check. Prostrating 
sickness came, and with it a succession of distract- 
ing and embarrassing oppositions to my discovered 
tendency towards Catholicism. 

And here I must be allowed in all honesty, and, 
I trust, with no violation of charity, to say, that 
these oppositions, which were designed, and at first 
seemed likely to arrest this tendency, operated, in 
the end, greatly to increase it, by increasing my 
distrust in the system imder which I was acting, as 
they tended to open my eyes more widely to what 
I felt to be its unreasonableness, 

(1.) In the first place, I observed that every at- 
tempt to understand and rightly appreciate Catholic 
truth was viewed by Protestants with jealousy, and 
treated with harshness. That, while they prided 
themselves upon the untrammelled exercise of rea; 
son in matters of faith, the first efibrt on the part 
of any of their adherents to apply this reason in 
good earnest to an examination of Catholic doctrine, 
or Catholic institutions, was instantly met by a cry 
of alarm. "This practice is highly dangerous. 
Depend upon it, it will unsettle your faith, wean 
you from your own Church, and give you a lean- 
ing towards Catholicism. There is something in 
this so insidious and captivating, that, if you once 
allow it to get the least hold of your mind and 
heart, it is sure to bring you under its dominion.'* 
And if the practice was not forthwith relinquished, 
they would seek to interpose an efiectual bar by 
loading it with suspicion, and exciting against it 

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the popular indignation; thus often forcing per- 
sons who might not have the nerve, for the sake of 
truth and peace, to face desertion, ignominy, and 
perhaps starvation, to stifle their convictions, com- 
promise their consciences, and consent, for. a time 
at least, to stumble on amidst the obscurities and 
miseries of an uncertain faith. This struck me as 
being so inconsistent with the Protestant principle, 
that a free and thorough application of each mind 
to the great question, " What is truth ? " is essen- 
tial to its solution^i as to lead me to suspect more 
reasonableness and force in Catholic teaching than 
my education and position had hitherto permitted 
me to see. For I could not well conceive how, 
on such a vital question as that between Catholics 
and Protestants, any practice which might con- 
tribute to the fullest investigation should be " dan- 
gerous " to any thing but error. If the mind be 
capable of the investigation at all, it must be, I 
thought, tp the fullest extent. At any rate, that 
it would be exceedingly unfair to obUge it to come 
to a conclusion, or to abide in one, without being 
allowed an opportimity to examine both sides of 
the question, the consideration of which might be 
necessary to render that conclusion safe. Hence I 
began seriously to fear that " the danger " appre- 
hended from a thorough knowledge of Catholic 
teaching was not so much danger to the truth of 
God, as to the system of Protestantism, 

(2.) But this fear was strengthened by my being 
called to feice another kind of effort to turn me 

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from an investigation into Catholic principles. In- 
stead of a direct answer to my difficulties, I was 
eyery where met with an indirect rebuke for deign- 
ing to listen, for a moment even, to the claims of so 
corrupt a Church as that of Eome. Instances, 
real or imaginary, were advanced, in almost co\mt- 
less numbers, to illustrate its superstition in re- 
ligion, or degradation in morals, with an intimation 
that no one, not weakened or debased in moral 
sense, could consent to such a fellowship. I looked 
at this attempt, narrowly scanned its justice and 
charity, and at once saw in it, or thought I saw, 
the working of the same leaven which, in the time 
of Christ, was infused into the opposition to the 
Christian faith by the grand adversary of man. 
*^ John the Baptist came, neither eating bread, nor 
drinking wine, and they say he hath a deviV* He 
is carried away by an unnatural and superstitious 
reverence for ascetic life. " The Son of man came 
eating and drinking, and they say. Behold a man 
gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publi- 
cans and sinners." One who favors rioting, and is 
given to sensuality. 

Here I asked myself what would have been the 
fate of the religion of Jesus Christ, when Christ 
was Himself upon earth, if this charge of laxity 
of discipline is to be considered an effectual bar to 
its claims ? I saw Judas still retained by our Lord 
among the twelve, though known to be a devil ; 
and I listened to the rebuke which He left for His 
over-rigorous followers in the parable of the ^^ wheat 

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and tares," where He referred the separation of 
the bad from the good to a day of final judg- 
ment. And then, in the age that followed, I per- 
ceived this very charge urged against the ** One 
Catholic Church " by a body of condemned here- 
tics* whose sanctity had no better claim than their 

It was manifest, too, that this charge of corrup- 
tion, in most cases at least, emanated from persons, 
either jealous of the influence of the Catholic clergy, 
or biased against them, from having themselves in 
some way incurred the censures of the Church, and 
hence become, through self-love, the victims of self- 
delusion. An instance of this kind,t made too no- 
torious by an interested press to have escaped the 
notice of any one, produced in my mind an impres- 
sion of pity for the assailant, equalled only by that 
of wonder that any member of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in the United States, in his sober 
senses, should be found an abetter either of the 
man or of his argument — particularly as at the 
very time that Church was bleeding at every pore, 
from wounds inflicted upon her either by the faults 
of her friends, or the false accusations of her 

God forbid that I should allude to this circum- 
stance with any other than the most sorrowful feel- 
ings. And I only do it to show, why I felt bound, 
on every principle of justice and charity, to turn 

* The Donatists. • 

t I refer to the Rev. Pierce Connelly. 



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a deaf ear to an argument from such a quarter, 
drawn from a rumored or supposed corruption 
among the CathoKc clergy. Besides having ac- 
quired some knowledge of the Penitential system 
of CathoUcs, I felt quite confident that too great 
laxity in any particidar case, must be owing, not 
to defect in the Church, but to the want of fidelity 
on the part of individiutls intrusted with her dis- 

On the whole, then, this attempt entirely failed, 
in respect to myself, of its intended effect — in- 
stead of arresting inquiry, it tended rather to sup- 
ply an additional stimulus to it ; as it tended to 
weaken my confidence in a system that could resort 
to arguments so illogical in themselves — so im- 
christian in their spirit — and so unbecoming the 
persons in whose mouths they were found. It was 
really a matter of grief to me to be seen in apparent 
fellowship with so unmanly, so ungenerous an as- 
sault. One betokening so little sympathy with that 
" charity which suffereth long and is kind," and 
appearing so nearly alive to that spirit which saith, 
*' Stand by thyself, I am hoUer than thou ! " 

I was compelled to view this charge in connec- 
tion with another : viz., that of dishonesty, or some- 
thing as base, uniformly uttered against converts 
to Eome — men who had equally gained for them- 
selves the reputation of imsullied sanctity while 
Protestants, and had ^*left all," for conscience* 
sake, in becoming Catholics. In a word, all this 
outcry about the corrupt tendency of CathoHc 

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principles might seem very true and very terrible 
to some minds, but I confess I saw in it only another 
mark of the identity of the Catholic Church with 
the slandered and suffering Church of Christ ; and 
another proof of the want among Protestants of 
that divine charity, the absence of which I had 
long bemoaned as the most fatal symptom in any 
communion, of separation from Christ, the celestial 
fountain of peace and love. Where, I asked my- 
self, except in the weekly repetition of the Apostles^ 
Creed, is the manifestation among us of that blessed 
" communion of saints," which, under the resist- 
less power of Christ's love, binds all hearts to 
Him — blending them together in one heavenly 
fellowship — filling them with one spirit — concen- 
trating them upon one interest — and animating 
them with common joys, and pursuits, and hopes ; 
thus excluding "all bitterness, and wrath, and 
malice, and evil speaking" — and making all feel 
as *^ one body in Christ and every one members one 
of another, -^ that if one member suffers, all the 
. members must suffer with it ? " This question 
brought conscious shame, and self-reproach, and a 
heavier weight of heartfelt distrust. 

And here another burden was added to this 
weight. ^^The poor," saith our Lord, ^^ye have 
always with you." If you are my people you will 
show it in expressions of divine sympathy for the 
wretched of every sort. They will be taken to 
your hearts and fed from your hands, and led on 
gently by your side. Your churches and houses. 

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20 iNTRODUcrrioic. 

and sympathies and charities, will be thrown widely 
open to them. They will " be always with you." 
I cast my eyes around me, and saw indeed here 
and there an institution, the fruit of individual 
zeal, designed for the destitute. But when I looked 
into the system of Protestantism, I could see noth- 
ing which marked it as the hope and the home of 
the wretched ; nothing which proclaimed its pe- 
culiar fellowshq) with " the poor." Its places of 
worship, where, aS was too generally the case, the 
pew system prevailed, were virtually closed against 
them. K nominal provision was made, it only ex- 
pressed the more significantly the pride of wealth, 
and the utter want of commxmion with poverty. 
The very arrangement, said aloud to the rich, ** Sit 
thou here in a good place;" and to the poor, 
'* Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool." 
In short, I could discover no general and essential 
and abiding characteristic that identified the com- 
munion to which I belonged with that divine broth- 
erhood, whose glory it was that " the poor were 
always with them." Indeed, my own feeble, and 
perhaps misdirected, efibrts, in this behalf, met 
with such signal discouragement and rebuke as to 
beget in me a strong suspicion of the utter incom- 
patibility of the system in which I acted with 
Christ's mission to the poor. 

But the circumstance which at this period shook 
my confidence most of all, was the absence, in my 
view, of any instituted method among Protestants 
for the remission of post-bapiismal sin. Sins be- 

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fare baptism were expressly forgiven in that sacra- 
ment. But for the remission of those committed 
after, however deadly, I could see in Protestantism 
no provision. That Christ left power in His 
Church to remit these I had no doubt And for 
a time, after my mind had become alive to the im- 
portance of the exercise of this power, I believed 
that it existed and might be lawfully exercised in 
the communion of which I was a bishop. But upon 
stricter examination and more mature thought, I 
became convinced that if the existence of such 
power was not actually denied, its exef cise, except 
in a very modified sense and within very restricted 
limits, was virtually prohibited. The discovery 
filled me with dread, which daily observation in- 
creased, till finally it passed into absolute conster- 
nation. No one, who has not been in my state, 
can fully appreciate my sensations, when I opened 
my eyes to the fact that multitudes around me in- 
trusted to my care, were goaded by a conviction of 
mortal sin and demanding relief, and I was not al- 
lowed by my Church to administer that relief in 
the only way which seemed to me to be directed 
by God's word as understood by His early Church. 
The question now forced itself upon me. Can that be 
an institution of God which thus locks up the gifts 
(supposing it to have received them) which He 
commands His priesthood to dispense to the needy 
and perishing souls for whom Christ died?* 

* One consideration more, deeply concerned in my submlsbion to th« 
CathoUc Church, ought, perhaps, to be mentioned. I refer to th$ Oaim tokiek 

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This state of doubt and fear awakened in my mind 
the inquiry, why I should not more thoroughly ex- 
amine the ground on which I stood, and on which 
were based my hopes of eternal salvation ? 

When I seriously approached this question, how- 
ever, it was terrible to me. No man can well con- 
ceive the horror with which I first contemplated 
the possibility of a conviction against my own 
claims as the result ! My claims as a bishop, a 
minister, a Christian in any safe sense ; and hence 
of my being compelled as an honest man to give 
up my position. A horror enhanced by the self- 
humiliation with which I saw such a step must 

that OMTch had to mff Jukhy and love, and o&ecfimef, Jr<m tkt momeiU qf my 

It was detennined from the first, and by the only power commissioned by 
Christ to determine, that all persons baptised into His mystical Body, by 
water, " in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," 
by whomsoever administered, became thereby true members of ** the One 
Catholic and Apostolic Church j " and hence they must remain subject to 
its authority, in opposition to every other claim, so long as they are subjects 
of Christ's Kingdom. 

Convinced, therefore, that I was originally placed by baptism within th« 
pale and under the authority of " the One Catholic and Apostolic Charch," 
and that I should be guilty of an act of deadly schism in resisting this Catholic 
authority (the only authority under heaven entitled to my submission) by 
longer siding with a national and uncathoUc communion, I felt bound on every 
principle of duty and safety to return with a brcdcen and contrite heart to the 
arms of my true mother, from whom I had departed, the moment I consented, 
as an adult, to be considere^ti member of the protestant body. Instead, there- 
fore, of unfaithfulness to the Anglican or American conmiunion, which ia 
sometimes pleaded, I was convinced, that in my return, I did nothing more 
than throw off an unlawful allegiance imposed upon me without my con- 
sent, and take steps for my restoration to that Catholic fellowship— that 
«♦ Communion of Saints," of which I was made a member at my bapttsm. I 
felt, as one may be supposed to feel who in his unconscious childhood had 
been borne off asleep from his native shore on some wreck to a desert Island, 
and then, in his manhood, after long subjection to want and hardship, be- 
comes convinced of the disaster and returns to the fiither that begot him, and 
the mother who cherished his infoncy. 

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cover me, the absolute deprivation of all mere tem- 
poral support which, it must occasion, not only to 
myself but to one whom I was bound " to love and 
cherish until death." The heartrending distress 
and mortification in which it must involve, without 
their consent, a large circle of the dearest relatives 
and friends, the utter annihilation of all that confi- 
dence and hope which under common struggles 
and common sufierings, for what we deemed the 
truth, had been reposed in me as a sincere and 
trustworthy bishop. But I forbear. Enough that 
the prospect, heightened in its repulsiveness by the 
Bad forebodings around me at the renewed symptoms 
of my wavering, was so confounding, as actually to 
make me debate, whether it were not better, and 
my duty, to stay and risk the salvation of my soul, 
— as to make me supplicate in agony to be spared 
so bitter a chalice, to make me seize, with the eager- 
ness of a drowning man, upon every possible pre- 
text for relinquishing the inquiry. Could I not 
be sincere where I was ? Work with a quiet con- 
science where Providence had placed me ? Were 
not the fathers of the Eeformation, in case of my 
being in error, to be held responsible ? Would it 
not be pre&umption in me, a single bishop, to re- 
consider other points long considered settled by a 
national Church ? These and more like questions 
would force themselves daily upon my mind to de- 
ter my advance ; and under their influence I actually 
went so far as to commit myself publicly to Protes- 
tantism, to make such advance the more difficult. 

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But God was merciful, and all this did not satisfy 
me. I thought I sa^ in it clearly the tepiptation 
of Satan, an effort of my overburdened heart to 
escape self-sacrifice, I felt that if for such reasons 
I could be excused, so might Saul of Tarsus have 
been. His example of self-negation for Christ 
came frequently before me. His words, as the 
Apostle of Christ, sounded often in my ears. '* If 
any man thinketh that he hath whereof he might 
trust in the flesh, I more — circumcised the eighth 
day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benja- 
min, an Hebrew of the Hebrews, according to the 
Law a Pharisee — concerning zeal persecuting the 
Church. Touching the justice which is in the law 
blameless. But what things were gain to mc, 
the same I counted loss for Christ. Yea, ftirther- 
more, I count all things hut loss for the excellent 
Jcnowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For whom 
J have suffered the loss of all things, and do count 

them but dung that I may win Christ We are 

fools for Christ's sake. . . And if any man among 
you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him be- 
come a fool that he may be wise We are 

made a spectacle to the world — are weak and 
despised — are naked and buffeted, arid have no 
certain dwelling-place — labor, working with our 
hands — are reviled, and persecuted, and defamed ; 
yea, are made as the filth of the world unto this 
day." These words often sounded in my ears, 
with those encouraging ones too: *' I reckon that 
the sufferings of this present time axe not worthy 

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to be compared with the glory that shall be re- 
vealed. For if we suffer with Christ we shall also 
reign with Him. We suffer with Him, that wfc 
may be glorified together." And I felt warmed 
and strengthened from above, to let nothing below 
turn me from a faithful search into the will of God, 
Other and still more solemn words, too, would 
come to deepen and fix this impression — words 
from the lips, the bosom, of Eternal Charity : " He 
that would be my disciple, must deny himself, take 
up his cross and follow me. He that forsaketh not 
, all that he hath cannot be my disciple. He that 
saveth his life shall lose it ; but he that loseth his 
life for my sake shall keep it unto life eternal." 
Yea, and those awful words, too, which, in the 
mouth of the holy Ignatius, changed the proud and 
self-indulgent thoughts of the youthful noblemen 
into the penitential sighs and angelic aspirations of 
the self-denying and wonder-working St. Francis : 
— ^^ What shall it profit a man, if he gain the 
whole world and lose his own soul?" 

Now it was that I cast myself, body and soul, 
powers, honors, and emoluments, all that I was, 
all that I hady before the cross of Christ, entreat- 
ing Him to take all, and lead me to the truth, lead 
me to Himself, vowing, in the depth of my soul, 
that if He would in mercy show me the way, and 
uphold my footsteps, I would follow Him whither- 
soever He would lead me ! 

I will not attempt to say what it cost me to 
make this surrender. But one thing I will say, 

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the sacrifice has been repaid ten thousand fold in 
the blessings of present peace, and in the certain 
hopes of eternal life. And another thing I will 
record, by way of caution to my dear friends, that 
if any of them have one doubt, or think they ought 
to have (me doubt of their present safety, — (and 
who will not think this, after the solemn admoni- 
tion to consider and reconsider, given in the de- 
parture of so many of the best and wisest Angli- 
cans to the Catholic Church; for who would 
refuse, or think there was no cause to examine his 
tith deeds, while grave doubts concerning them , 
were abroad, and the wisest members of his family 
were bestirring themselves to make good the ten- 
ure of their estates ?) — if any of my dear fiiends, 
then, have one doubt or suspicion of their safety as 
Protestants, let them at once commit themselves to 
the guidance of Grod's Spirit. Nothing else can 
save them. Nothing else give them courage to 
fece the trials, to baffle self-delusion, and advance 
to the altar of self-sacrifice. Let them waive all 
investigation, then, till they have humbled them- 
selves before the cross, and sought, in a spirit of 
childlike docility, for the guidance of the Holy 
Ghost — till they have cast themselves upon this 
guidance, and poured forth the fervent desires of 
their hearts in some such thoughts as these : ^' God 
pf all goodness. Father of mercies, and Savior of 
mankind, I implore Thee, by Thy boundless wis- 
dom and love, to enHghten my mind^ and touch 
my heart, that by means of true * faith, hope, and 
charity,' I may live and die in the true religion of 

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Jesus Christ. I confidently beKeve that, as there 
is but one God, there can be but one faith, one 
religion, one only path to salvation, and that every 
other path opposed thereto can lead but to destruc- 
tion. This path, O my God, I anxiously seek 
after, that I may follow it, and be saved. There- 
fore I protest before Thy Divme Majesty that I 
•vrill follow the religion which Thou shalt reveal to 
me as the true one, and will abandon, at whatever 
cost, that wherein I shall have discovered errors 
and falsehoods. I confess that I do not deserve 
this favor for the greatness of my sins, for which 
I am truly penitent, seeing they offend a God whu 
is so good, so holy, so worthy of love. But what 
I deserve not I hope to obtain from Thine infinite 
mercy; and I beseech Thee to grant it unto me 
through the merits of that precious blood which 
was shed for us sinners by Thine only Son, Jesus 
Christ, our Lord," &c. 

You will perceive that this prayer presupposes 
two conditions as indispensable to a proper investi- 
gation of religious truth. 1. That the salvation 
of the soul throughout eternity be regarded as infi- 
nitely more desirable than any good in time ; and 
hence, as demanding our attention and pursuit at 
the sacrifice, if need be, of all else besides. 
2. That, to save the soul, God's will be taken as 
the only sure guide ; and as demanding our cheer- 
ful submission at the sacrifice, if need be, of every 
other will, and in resistance of every other claim, 
or influence. It may be very difficult effectually 
to brace up the mind to these considerations, — so 

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to put aside the powers of ** the world, the flesh, 
and the devil," and so to humble our pride, as to 
make time yield in all things to eternity, and our 
wills to the will of God ; but it must be done, or 
we can never promise our9elves any sure advance 
in the pursuit of truth. Strive, then, first of all, 
my dear friends, (if you will allow me once more 
to exhort you in the truest love,) to realize the 
immense value of the soul, the utter worthlessness, 
comparatively, of all earthly things, the dreadful 
idea of its loss, and the unspeakable wisdom of ever 
holding one's self ready to sacrifice all other things 
for its salvation ! When you have done this, en- 
deavor to fix before an^d within, and all around 
your minds, the awful, but certain truth, that the 
salvation of your souls can be attained only in sub- 
mission to the will of God. And further, as you 
have always been taught, that *Hhere is a way 
which seemeth right unto a man, but the end 
thereof are the ways of death." 

From a living, controlling sense of these things, 
it was (and I say it with humble thankfulness to 
God, for how little did I deserve the grace !) that 
I started forward anew, resolved, by the help of 
Divine light, to find a certain answer to the ques- 
tion, " What is God's will as the way of man's sal- 
vation ? " 

And now I entreat my dear friends to pray for 
such light, and follow me in the search. The 
result may be matter for deep and joyful thanks 
giving to God throughout eternity. 

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The question with me was, (and I am not 
ashamed, even at my time of life, and with my pe- 
culiar advantages as a Protestant, to acknowledge 
it,) ** What must I do to be saved 1 " or. What is 
God^s will as the way of man's salvation 1 

To this question I felt the answer must be posi- 
tive and certain; that no mere approximation to 
the truth, however flattering or well fortified, 
would bring relief; that any thing short of absolute 
certainty would fail to meet my case. Of doubt 
and confusion I had had enough. My mind 
reached forth for a distinct and infallible response ; 
and it did so confideutly, and with a sense of right, 
for under God's invitation and promise, it reached 
forth to God, and to God alone. If it were true 
ihat He had undertaken to instruct me, to reveal 
3 * (29) 

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or make known His will to me, I felt assured that 
complete success must attend Ills work ; that when 
God taught, the lesson would be distinct; that 
when His light shone upon truth, doubt would 
vanish ; when His lips uttered it, certainty would 
be seen in every line ; and that when God spake, 
man was to keep silence, was simply to learn and 
obey. To me it seemed utterly absurd that God 
should condescend to instruct man, because of his 
ignorance, how to save his soul, and then leave him 
to make a single surmise, allow him even to point 
his own finger in the way, or put in a word of 
direction how to follow it — utterly absurd and 
impious that God should be supposed to depend, in 
any degree, upon the helpless being whom He 
designed to rescue from his state of absolute help- 
lessness — to borrow light in any way or measure 
from the dark mind, which, in pity. He conde- 
scended to illumine and to guide. I felt, there- 
fore, that I might justly demand exactness and 
infallibility in the answer to my inquiry for God's 
exact will, as it was to be an answer from God , 
that His word to me should require no additional 
clearness from the dictates of my own perplexed 
reason, — that His truth should be rendered suspi- 
cious by no human alloy ; the bright page of His 
revealed will be dimmed by no uncertainty of man's 
reason ; that man's reason be employed only as the 
active receiver of the pure mind of God. 

Not only my own wants urged this claim, and 
the very nature as well as promise of God, who, in 

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mercy, undertook to meet them, justified It ; but 
also the reverence due to His perfections, and thn 
gratitude due to His love would allow no other. X 
felt that He had invited me to come and learn of 
Him, promising rest to my soul ; and that, had I 
come thus at His own invitation, for an answer less 
than infallible^ it would have been an insult to 
His infinite wisdom and power ; that had I ex- 
pected less, when He condescended to supply, it 
would have been a return of base ingratitude and' 
distrust for the marvellous provisions of His con- 
descension and love. 

I said to myself, God declares to me that He 
has contrived and revealed the way of my salva- 
tion, and, desiring that I should come to a knowl- 
edge of it, has, in fulfilment of His promise to 
*^lead me into all truth," secured its exact and 
thorough inculcation by positive and fixed means, 
. — can I be satisfied with any thing short of cer^ 
tainty in this knowledge, and stand guiltless before 
Him ? be satisfied with any thing short of certainty 
and claim to be a Christian in truth ? How can I 
know that I am a Christian any further than I 
know that I am following Christ ? And can I con- 
tent myself with an imperfect or doubtful knowl- 
edge of so solemn and urgent a fact ? What would 
such a listless careless spirit tell of my earnestness 
to be saved, or of my estimation of God's way of 
salvation? What of that loving spirit which 
Jcnows the voice of the Good Shepherd, and that 
Good Shepherd Himself? What of that childlike 

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dependence on the Father of mercies, which bowa 
to every intimation, and treasures every hint that 
can lead to the most exact obedience of His will ? 
that fills the soul with intense desires for perfect 
conformity to the spirit, the laws, and the fellow- 
ship of Him who could suffer and die, as Christ 
suffered and died for sinners ? What of £dth, and 
hope, and charity in Him who said to " the weary. 
Take my yoke and learn of me, and ye shall find 
rest to your souls " — who said to those groping in 
doubt, ** / am the light of the world ; he that fol- 
lowed me shall not walk in darlcness but shall have 
the light of life r* 

Knowing, therefore, that I "walked in dark- 
ness," 1 sought with all my heart this "light of 
Kfe," knowing, too, that Satan himself was some- 
times transformed to imitate this light, I was the 
more wary, and the more importimate and deter- 
mined in my demand, to know the truth, the 
whole truth, and nothing but the truth, — as it is 
in Jesus. Verily could I say with St. Paul, " I 
count all things but loss for the excellent knowl- 
edge of Christ Jesus my LordJ*^ But I felt that 
it must be knowledge and not conjecture : that the 
perfections of the great Lawgiver justified the 
expectation of certainty; that the state of man 
required it — the yearnings of his heart demanded 
Vt — the love of Christ pledged it — the provision 
in Christ offered it — the promise of Christ insured 
it. My demand, therefore, was for that perfect 
knowledge of God's will upon which I could found 
o certain and abiding faith. 

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gob's revelatiok to be received. S3 



Upon looking into the sources from which all 
who call themselves Christians profess to draw 
their hope of salvation, I found them unanimous in 
claiming the revelation of God to be their sole de- 
pendence. Here, then, was a pleasing and, at first 
sight, a somewhat hopeful agreement. The revela- 
tion of God was universally admitted to be the 
only sure guide to God'^s wiU, and hence to man's 

The great question, then, presented itself,— 
What is the revelation of God 1 And no sooner 
was it presented, than serious disagreement began. 
And first, in regard to the written revelation. 
Here, I heard it asserted that it embraced a certain 
number of specified books ; and there, that certJ 
other books must be added : on the one hand, tl 
every dogma and precept in these books, wh 
once admitted to be from God, must be submitt 
to, however mysterious in itself, or howeyer c 
scurely revealed; and then, on the other, tl 
human reason has a right to distinguish betwe 
things essential and things non-essential in reve 
tion, and to put upon all such an interpretation 
may make all consistent with its own sense of t 
fitness of things. 

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$4 god's revelation to be eeceived 

My first concern, therefore, seemed to be with 
this last-named opinion. And surely when I seri- 
ously reflected upon it, I could hardly persuade 
myself that any inteUigent Christian could be so 
lost to every just conception of a revelation from 
God to man as to be guilty of entertaining it. For, 
the moment I am certain that God speaks to me, 
as a man merely, my spirit shrinks in awe and 
submission before every word that He utters. But 
when I know that I stand guilty and condemned 
before Him — totally dependent upon His mercy, 
and totally ignorant of His gracious will, and that 
He, through marvellous immerited love, conde- 
scends to reveal this will as the ground of my sal- 
vation, I feel boimd to know it all and infallibly , 
and to obey it all and perfectly. For to me it is 
enough to feel assured that whatever God has re- 
vealed for us is required of us. Besides, I put it 
to my reason to say whether, if God has enjoined 
certain things, any one but God can dispense with 
them? Whether, if God has conjoined certain 
particulars in a Necessary whole, any one but Grod 
can pronoxmce whether any of these particulars 
can be safely omitted or safely left doubtful 1 Or 
again, whether, if God, in the imfathomable depths 
of His wisdom, has proposed to our belief certain 
incomprehensible verities, our faith may be safely 
withheld till our reason has penetrated their ob- 
scurity, stripped them of mystery, and presented 
them in some familiar and acceptable guise ? And 
finally, the necessity of imqualified submission to 

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whatever God has revealed, however mysterious, 
or however apparently insigmficant, — a necessity 
wrought out and set before my eyes, by God's 
providence, in His •Written Word; and in such 
repeated instances, scattered along the whole his« 
tory of man's strange perverseness, as not only to 
proclaim in the clearest manner God's demands 
upon us, but also to exhibit in the most instructive 
light our own blind propensity to resist them. 

I see our first parents shut out from the bless- 
ings of Paradise, and groaning beneath the toil and 
misery of an earth cursed for their sakes ; and as 
the cause, I perceive that, misled by the pride of 
reason, they thought it mattered little whether 
they acted up to the strict sense of God's word, or 
followed the free and most agreeable interpretation 
of Satan. I see CaiUy wandering forth from the 
presence of God, bearing God's curse upon his 
brow and an intolerable weight of misery in his 
soul; and as the first cause, I learn that he has 
been found guilty of judging it a small thing to 
vary from the mere outward institution of God, and 
offer the first fruits of the ground instead of the 
firstlings of the flock. I see Coray DathaUy and 
Ahirony with all their company, sinking, under the 
judgments of Almighty God, from the sight of men 
into the bowels of the earth ; and I find the cause 
to consist in a low estimate of priestly authority, 
and an unlawful and arrogant assumption of its 
prerogatives. I see Moses, the servant of God, 
though raised to the headship of his people, ex« 

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36 god's revelation to be becetved 

eluded from the land of Canjum and condemned to 
a solitary death in the mountains of the desert; 
and I perceive, as the cause, that he £dled, before 
the complaining Israelites, to give the entire glory 
to his Sovereign, but wavered in his faith and 
*^ spake unadvisedly with his lips.'* I see Uzzah, 
smitten by the hand of God, sinking a corpse before 
His ark ; and I learn the cause to be simply a fear- 
ftdness for that ark, and an unauthorized attempt 
to save it. I see the leprous Captain of the Syrian 
host turning in contemptuous pride from the simple 
remedy prescribed by God's prophet for his cure, 
and moving off in a rage with the prospect of pass- 
ing the remnant of his days a miserable leper ; and 
that because he could not discern the reason why 
the waters of Jordan, though appointed by Grod, 
should have an efficacy superior to that of the 
rivers of his own country. I see many of the fol- 
lowers of our Lord, who had actually witnessed 
His miracles, turning back and abandoning forever 
the hopes of eternal life through His blood ; and 
that, because He made that life depend upon verily 
eating His body, ("he that eateth me, even he 
shall live by me ; ") and then, because they mur- 
mured at so hard a saying, He refused to do more 
than urge with increased solemnity the necessity of 
their implicit faith and obedience. 

In these, therefore, as well as in a multitude of 
other instances, I could not fail to perceive, as 
God's hand had written the lesson with an awful 
plainness, that human reason runs the most terrible 

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risk, in attempting to treat as non-essential any 
truth, no matter how apparently insignificant, or to 
modify and abate the literal force, of any truth, 
no matter how deeply incomprehensible, provided 
only God has revealed it. 



To my mind it was settled, therefore, that I had 
a right to demand not only a certain infallible 
answer to the question, g-enera%, " What is God^s 
will 1 " but also particularly ; that is, in respect 
to each truth, however small, however mysterious, 
which God has proposed to my faith or enjoined 
upon my practice. 

Under this view, I entered upon the inquiry, 
how, or by what means are we to come to an exact 
knowledge of God's will as contained in Holy 
Scripture ? So that we may have an absolute cer- 
tainty that it teaches this or that particular truth — 
teaches this much of truth, and no more ? 

It was clear to me already that God alone could 
help me — that He, who is the sole fountain of 
revelation, must also be its sole interpreter. Ip. 
this idea, too, I was happy to believe all Christians 
more or less acquiesced; that no denomination 
claims the ability of itself to understand the Scrip. 

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tures^ but that the theory of all is^ that man must 
go out of himself, must cast himself upon Grod 
as the only sure dependence ; that His Spirit must 
in some way " guide us into all truth," or we shall 
never know it. In what way, then, (this being 
the form which the question finally assumed) has 
God secured to us the infallible guidance of the 
Holy Spirit as our interpreter of His will 1 

Here I hardly need say that any way which God 
may appoint must be a perfect way. That it would 
be Jiighly derogatory to His infinite wisdom and 
power to suppose it possible that He should essay 
to provide man with the means of guidance to His 
will, and that means be not, in every respect and in 
every sense, sufficient to secure unerring knowledge. 

I first examined the means suggested by a large 
majority of Protestants : viz., that through prayer, 
God would enlighten each man's mind to under- 
stand, after diligent study, the true sense of the 

The result of my examination forced upon me 
the conviction that this could not be the means of 
God's appointment, for the following among other 

1. First, any means of help coming from God to 
mankind, must, to commend itself to their reason- 
able acceptance, be of universal application to 
them, and adapted to all their various states and 
capacities. But this means proposed by Protes- 
tants, I perceived to be, to say the least of it, of 
very partial application — suited only to the cir 

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cmnstances of a very small portion of those for 
whose instruction in the way of life the Bible was 

For, observe, the mere possession of a certain 
amount of paper and ink, and binding, called the 
Bible, even were it in every man's hand, and he a 
man of prayer, could go but a very little way to- 
wards a real knowledge of the will of God. For 
when this book comes to hand, the man must be 
able to read it — to read it critically — to know 
when he reads it, that it is verily the book in which 
the Holy Spirit deposited the mind of God — that 
in substance at least, it came from the inspired 
Apostles, and has been transmitted to himself with- 
out serious change of any kind. But how many, 
I asked myself, of those who are commanded to 
know the Bible and are to be judged by the Bible, 
have even such ability to attain its real meaning ? 
or can assure themselves beyond doubt, that the 
book they have in their hand contains God's will ? 
For no one, I presume, maintains that the Holy 
Ghost is to assist individuals to a knowledge of 
mere facts; such, for example, as pertain to the 
inspiration and authenticity and genuineness of the 
Scriptures ; or that we are to look to His illumina- 
tion for ability to translate them ourselves, or judge 
of the translations of others. Yet all these things, 
it will be perceived, must be attained before we can 
even enter upon the task, the fearful task, of Scrip- 
ture interpretation.. Surely, 1 said to myself, a 
method of arriving at God's will so very partial in 

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its applicability to the necessities of the helpless 
creatures whom it professes* to aid, cannot have 
God for its author. The idea is too unreasonable 
for the acceptance of man, too unworthy of the 
perfections of God. 

2. This appeared, too, from another considera- 
tion. If there be one intention of our Lord more 
manifest in His life among men than another, it is 
that of providing especially for the spiritual wants 
of the poor ; of that class of persons who had 
hitherto been so shamefully neglected by their fel- 
low-men. Among the multitude of things which 
He did and said in their behalf, and for their especial 
encouragement. He proclaimed, as a great funda- 
mental provision secured by His coming, as one 
which by its realization in Himself, established His 
divine claims : ** To the poor is the Gospel 
preached." The Gospel preached. Not a mere 
sound uttered in their hearing; but a ^^ certain 
soimd," — a soimd of " glad tidings " — a distinct 
proclamation of a way of jetemal life opened to 
them as condemned by their sins to eternal death. 
" To the poor is the Gospel preached ; " — the 
Gospel preached — not communicated by means 
of a book, which they (each for himself) are to 
read and criticize, and under Jtand — but preached 
by a clear, imerring, living voice. How reason- 
able, how admirable, how full of love, of gracious 
consideration for the poor, I exclaimed within my- 
self, is this, our Lcftd's instituted method of im- 
puting to them a sure knowledge of His salvation ^ 

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But how unreasonable, because in every way un- 
suitable, this method insisted on by Protestants. I 
say unsuitable. For, to send the poor and ignorant 
to learn the way to save their souls from the Bible 
merely, seemed to me as obviously preposterous, as 
it would be to send them to learn how to get their 
daily bread, to the Principia of Newton, or the 
Agricultural Chemistry of Liebig. Besides, I had 
seen with my own eyes, in a long ministry to the 
poor, the fearful working among them of this 
Protestant method of learning God's will. The 
stupid ignorance — the horrid misconceptions — the 
frightful perversions — the soul-sickening debase- 
ments, which it wrought in my own field of labor, 
had been pain and grief to me for more than thirty 
years. How could I believe, with these sad lessons 
gathered from my own observation, that a God of 
wisdom could justify His own avowed designs of 
special mercy to the poor and helpless, by leaving 
them a prey to this merciless scheme of attaining a 
knowledge of His will through their individual 
minds and judgments ? An idea so revolting even 
to my reason, was at once dismissed as oflFensive to 
Almighty God. 

3. Another manifest difficulty attended the Prot- 
estant scheme. It failed to secure to mankind 
what God reqidred them to maintain, — ^^ unity in 
the faith." 

"Where there is " one Lord," reason, as well as 
revelation, demands " one faith.^* Where there is 
" one God and Father of us all," reason, as well 

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as revelation, demands that we all, as *^ God's dear 
children," be of " ono mincl, and one heart, striv- 
ing together for the faith of the gospel." I was 
not surprised, therefore, to find Clirist, our great 
Prophet, declaring Himself to be " the light ; " and 
the plan of salvation instituted in Himself as " the 
way, the truth, and the life." And His people as 
those who hear ** His voice," His one voice, " and 
follow Him." Neither did I wonder, as I listened 
to the earnestness of the apostolic entreaties, that 
*^ we all speak the same things, and be perfectly 
joined together, not only in the same heart, but 
also in the same judgment.'*^ Nor at the terrible 
threatenings against such ^* as cause divisions ; " 
nor at the pressing admonitions to the faithful to 
*^ avoid them," and to adhere to their own pastors, 
who are sent for " the edifying of the body of 
Christ," to the end " that we may all come in the 
unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son 
of God, unto a perfect man — unto the fulness of 
the stature of Christ" But in looking at the prin- 
ciple of private judgment in matters of Christian 
faith, common sense, as well as common observa- 
tion, taught me that its result among self-willed 
men could be no other than endless discord. I say 
common observation. For the result was actually 
before me. And 1 was not surprised to find, un- 
der this system, no error too absurd, not to have 
been broached. To find among the hundreds of 
sects produced by its operation, every fundamental 
doctrine of the blessed Gospel denied, and every 

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form and shade of anathematized error maintained, 
and aH cuised with vthe uncertainty of perpetual 
change. As well, thought I, might the harmony 
of society be preserved by intrusting the interpre- 
tation of law to each individual litigant, as the 
*^ unity of faith," by committing the discovery and 
meaning of God's word to the search of each indi- 
vidual mind. Here, therefore, I felt that I might 
leave the question as sufficiently settled, so far as re- 
gards the instrumentality of mere private judgment. 



Here, however, I was met by a more plausible 
theory. With the admission that, in a certain sense, 
and to a certain degree, the Church of Christ had 
authority to judge in matters of faith, had been 
made by God the interpreter of His will to men. 
This theory I well understood, as I had held it, 
and acted upon it, in common with the party in 
England and America called *^ High Churchmen," 
during the whole of my ministerial life. We main- 
tained that in the commission of Christ to His 
Apostles, ^^ Go teach all nations, baptizing them," 
&c., and in the communication of priestly prei 
ative, " Receive ye the Holy Ghost : whosesoc 
sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them ; 

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whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained," God 
had constituted His Church the authoritative teacher 
of His will to mankind, and the authorized dis- 
penser among them of His holy discipline. That 
all were bound to *^ hear the Church," and that, if 
any obstinately refused, they were to be treated as 
'^heathens and publicans." That the Church 
founded *^ upon a rock," was " the pillar and 
ground of the truth," full able to resist *' the gates 
of hell." That *^ God had set in the Church some 
Apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers 
for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of 
the ministry, for the edifying of the body of 
Christ, till we all come in the imity of the faith 
and of the knowledge of the Son of God, imto a 
perfect man, &c. That we be no more children 
tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine by 
the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby 
they lie in wait to deceive, but speaking the truth 
in love, may grow up into Him in all things which 
is the Head." That a divine necessity was laid 
upon the faithful, to " obey those that have the 
rule over them and submit themselves, because they 
watch for their souls, and have to give account of 
them." *^ To remember those who have spoken 
to them the word of God — to follow their faith, 
considering the end of their conversation,*' That 
this necessity was enforced by the awful sayings, 
'* He that heareth you, heareth me ; and he that 
despiseth you, despiseth me." And again, '*We 
are of God — he that knoweth God, heareth us 
But he that is not of God, heareth not us." 

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To give and maintain the true meaning of this 
Scripture, we appealed constantly and confidently to 
the early Fathers of the Church. The most strik- 
ing passages from these fathers touching church 
authority, were lik^ household words among us. 
Thus St. Clement of Eome* writes as follows: 

*^ Do ye who laid the foundation of this sedition 
submit yourselves to the priests,^ and he instructed 
unto repentance. Bending the knees of your 
hearts, learn to be subject, laying aside all proud 
and arrogant boasting of your tongues; for it is 
better for you to be found in the sheepfold of 
Christ, little and approved, than, thinking your- 
selves above others, to be cast out of hope." — Ep. 
i. ad Cor. n. 54, fyc. And St. Ignatius of An- 
tioch : J ^* It becomes you to concur in the mind 

of your Bishop For whomsoever the master 

of the house sendeth to his own household, we 
ought so to receive as we would Him that sent him. 
It is plain that we ought to look to the Bishop as 
to the Lord himself. § Obeying the Bishop and 
presbytery with an entire mindJ*^ — Ep. ad Ephes. 
** Neither attempt ye any thing that seems good to 
your own judgment, || but let there be in the same 
place one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one 

* The Bishop of that See, honored by the near friendship of St. Peter, and 
writing about fifty years after Clurist. 

I 'XwoT&yriTS rots irpea0VTipots, 

X The Bishop of that See and the diseiple of St. John, writing about 
105-107, and suffering martyrdom in 107. 
^ Tdv 6vv iniaKonov 6fiX6v 5ri if airdv rdv K^piov Set itpoa0\iirctv. 

II Or according to Cotelerius, " Ut aliquid vobia seorsim rationi conseota- 
neum videatur." 

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hope, in love, in joy undefiled." — Ep, ad Magnes 
" Guard against such men [heretics,] and guarded 
ye will be, if ye are not puffed up, nor separated 
from the Lord Jesus Christ, and from the Bishop, 
and from the regulations of the Apostles." — Ep, 
ad Trail, " My soul for the soul of those who 
are in subjection to the Bishop, and presbyters, and 
deacons, and my portion be with them in the Lord." 
— Ep, ad Polyc, 

And St. Polycarp * declared, *^ Wherefore, it is 
necessary, that ye be subject to the presbyters and 
deacons as Tinto God and Christ." — Ep. ad Philip. 

And St. Theophilus f was heard to say, *' As in 
the sea there are inhabited and well-watered islands, 
with ports and harbors, that they who are tempest 
tossed may find shelter in them ; so to the world, 
agitated and tossed by sins, God hath given holy 
churches, in which are the doctrines of truth, J and 
unto which they who wish to be saved fly." — Ad 

And St. Lrenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, § as he af- 
firmed : ^^ There being such proofs to look to, we 
ought not still to seek among othei;s for truth which 
it is easy to receive from the Church, seeing that the 
Apostles most fully committed unto this Church, 

* Bishop of Smyrna, instnicted by St. John, and liyed on tenns of intinlacjr 
with many who had seen our Lord ; be wrote this epistle about 107. 

t Bishq) of Antioch, highly commended by the Fathers, and wrote abou 

X SKK\riatas Ay(a; , .. al SiSatricaXtat rfis dXrideias siat, 

i The disciple of St. Polycarp ; he wrote about 185, and was marQrred 
in 303. 

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as unto a rich repository, all whatever is of truths* 
that every one that willeth may draw out of it the 

drink of life Therefore we ought to cling 

with the utmost care to whatever is of the Church,t 

and to hold fast to the tradition of truth But 

what if the Apostles had not left writings : would it 
not have been needful to follow the order of that 
tradition which they delivered to those to whom 
they committed the Churches ? An ordinance to 
which many of the barbarous nations who believe 
in Christ assent, having salvation written, without 
paper and ink, by the Spirit in their hearts, and 
sedulously guarding the old tradition,*^ — Adv 
Hares, 1. 3. 

Again : ** In the Church God hath placed Apos- 
tles, prophets, doctors, and every other operation 
of the Spirit^ of which those are not partakers who 
do not hasten to the Church. f. . .For where the 
Church is there is the Spirit of God, and where 
the Spirit of God is there is the Church and every 
grace ; but the Spirit is truth. § "Wherefore, they 
who do not partake of it, are neither nourished 
unto life by the breast of a mother, nor see the 
most clear spring which flows from Christ's body, 
but dig imto themselves broken cisterns out of 
earthy trenches, and out of the filth drink foul 

* Quum apostoli, quasi in depositorium dives, plenissime in earn eonhUerint 
omnia qua gwnt veritatis. 

-f Que autem sunt ecclesis, cum summa diligentia diligere. 

X Cujus non sunt participes omnes qui non currunt ad ecclesiam. 

$ Ubi enim ecclesia, ibi et Spiritus Dei, et ubi Spiritus Dei, illio ecclesia, 
ft omnia gratia ; Spiritus autem Veritas. 

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water, fleeing from the faith of the Church"-^ 
Jbid. 1. 8. 

And again : '* The preaching of the Church, in 
which one and the same way of salvation is set 
forth throughout the whole world, is firm and true.* 
For to this Church has been intrusted the light of 
God, and on this account is the wisdom of Grod, 
through which He saves all men, proclaimed in the 

gates ; in the streets she acts confidently For, 

every where the Church preacheth the truth ; and 
this is the lamp with seven branches, which bears 
the light of Christ.'' — Bid. 1. y. 

Thus, too, Clement of Alexandria,t who says : 
'^ The Apostle, writing to the Ephesians, has very 
clearly manifested what we are seeking after, say- 
ing thus, * Until we all meet in the imity of the 
faith and of the knowledge of God, unto a perfect 
man, imto the measure of the age of the fulness of 
Christ,* &c. ; saying these things unto the building 
up of the body of Qirist. . .the alone perfect in 
righteousness ; but are children, avoiding the winds 
of heresy, which puff up to swelling pride, and 
not believing those who teach otherwise than the 
Fathers, J are then perfected, when we are a Church, 
having received Christ the Head." 

Thus also Tertullian, § where he declares : *^ It is 
not lawful to indulge any thing of our own choice, 

* Ecclesis quidem pnedicatio vera etfirma, 

t A celebrated priest of the Church there, and ^master of the catechetical 
■chools, writing about 200. 

X Ml) KaToiriaTtvovrti roii SXXu; iJiifv vovBtrovai iraripag, 

% Contemporary with Ireneus, living at Carthage, and writing about 190. 

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as neither to choose that which any one may have 
introduced of his own choice.* We have for our 
authors the Apostles of the Lord, who did not even 
themselves choose any thing to he introduced of 
their own will,t but feiithfully delivered over to 
the nations the religion which they received from 

Christ Now what the Apostles preached, that 

is, what Christ revealed unto them. . .must be 
proved in no other way than by the same Churches 
which the Apostles themselves founded.} Them- 
selves preaching to them, as well viva voce, as men 
say, as afterwards by epistles. If these things be 
so, it becomes manifest that all doctrine which 
agrees with these apostolic Churches, the wombs 
and originals of the faith, must be accounted true, 
as without doubt containing that which Churches 
have received from the Apostles, the Apostles from 
Christ, Christ from God ; but that every doctrine 
must be judged at once to be false, which savoreth 
things contrary to the truth of the Churches,'^ ^ — 
De Frees. Haer, 

And Origen, |( who says : ** Let there be preserved 
the ecclesiastical teaching, which, transmitted by the 
order of succession from the Apostles, remains even 

♦ Nobis vero nihil ex nostro arbitrio indulgere licet, aed nee eligere quod 
aliquis de arbitrio suo induxerit. 

I Ex suo arbitrio. 

X Non alitor probari debere, nisi per easdem ecclesiaa quaa Ipei apostoH 

$ Constat omnem doctrinam quae cum illis ecclesiis apostolicis, matricibus 
et originalibus fidei conspiret, veritati deputandam .... Omnem vero doctri- 
nam, de mendacio prsejudicandam, quae sapiat contra yeritatem ecclesiamm. 

I) An Egyptian writer of great celebrity, about 220. 




to the present day in the Churches ; that alone is to 
be believed to be truth which in nothing differs 
from the ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition.** * — 
De Prin. T. 1. « He, Christ, is the light of the 
world, who also with His light enlightens the 
Church. For as the moon is said to derive light 
from the sun, that by it even the night may be 
illumined, so also the Church, having received the 
light of Christ, gives light to all who live in the 
night of ignorance." — T. ii. Horn. i. in Gen. 
*^They who teach the word according to the 
Church (qui ecclesiaatice docent) are the prophets 
of God."— T. iii. Com. in Matt. 

And St. Cyprian,t whose praise is in all the 
Churches: ^**He that heareth you heareth me,* 
&c. There being these numerous and weighty, 
and many other such examples as precedents, 
whereby God hath condescended to confirm the 
sacerdotal authority and power, what kind of men, 
thinkest thou, are they who, enemies of the Priest- 
'hood, and rebels against the Catholic Church, are 
neither scared by the Lord's forewarning threats, 
nor by the vengeance of a future judgment ? For 
neither have heresies sprung up, nor schisms been 
engendered, from other source than this, — that 
obedience is not paid to the priest of God. . .who for 
the time is judge in Christ's stead, whom, if the 
brotherhood would according to the divine com-- 

• ma sola eredenda est Teritas, que in nollo ab ecclesiastica et apostolica 
discordat traditione. 
t Bishop of Carthage, wrote about 150-155, martyrod 158. 

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mauds obey* no one would stir in opposition to 
the college of Priests." — Ep. iv. ad Cornel. 

And the Apostolic Constitutions : *^ Let the lay- 
man honor the good shepherd. For he who hears 
him, hears Christ, and he who despises him despises 
Christ . .For He has said. He that heareth you 
heareth Me ; and he that despiseth you despiseth 
Me ; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that 
sent Me." — lib. ii. c. xx. 

And St. Pamphilius f declares : i* That alone is 
to be received and believed as truth, which in 
nothing is opposed to the apostolic and ecclesiasti- 
cal dogmas." — Published in the works of Gallan- 
dus. T. iv. 

Lactantius, the famed rhetorician of Nicomedia, 
aflSrmed, about a.d. 800: "The Catholic Church 
is the only one which retains the true worship. 
This is the source of truth; this is the dwelling- 
place of faith ; this the temple of God, which who- 
soever enters not, or from which whosoever de- 
parts, he is an alien from the hope of life and 
eternal salvation.** $ 

Eusebius writes : ** The Church of God, journey- 
ing straight in the right and royal road, has con- 
demned aH the rest as by-paths (rag fiev aXXag nagex^ 
T^oTTdg dnedoxifiaae,) and she transmits to her votaries 

• .... Ad tempus judex vice Christi cogitatur, cui 8i secondum magisteria 
divina obtemperaret fratemitas. 

I Priest and martyr of Palestine about S^. 

^ Sola Catholica ecclesia est, que rerum cultum retinet. Hie est fons 
yeritatia, hoe domieiUum Jidei, quo si quis non intraverit, yel a quo si quia 
eziverit, a spe vitsB ac salutis sBteme alienus est. 

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the knowledge of divine grace." — See Eccles. 
Theol 1. i. c. 8. 

St. Hilary : * " He (our Lord) signifies that they 
who are placed without the Church cannot attain 
to any understanding of the divine words." - Com. 
in St, Matt c. xiii. 

And the great St. Athanasius : f ^^ Let ns see 
the tradition which is from the beginning, and the 
doctrine and faith of the Catholic Churcti, which 
the Lord indeed communicated, but the apostles 
proclaimed and the &thers guarded; for on this 
has the Church been founded, and he who falls 
away from this, would not be, nor would he even 
be called, a Christian." } — Ep. i. ad. Serap. 

St. Cyril of Jerusalem § exhorts : '* Take thou 
hold, as a learner and in profession, that faith 
only which is now delivered thee by the Church, 
and is fenced round out of all holy scripture." || 
Cat V. n. 12. 

St. Gregory of Nyssalf affirms: '* Whoso look- 
eth unto the Church, looketh at once imto 
Christ.''** — In Cant T. i. 

And St. Basil the Great ft says: "We stand 

* Bishop of Poictiera, about 355. 

I Assistant of the Patriarch of Alexandria at the first Council of NIoba ; 
and afterwards occupant of that Patriarchal See. 

t if ravTTj yhp fi iKK\ri<ria redeneXluiTdi, koI b ravrns lKirtirT<av, 

oir^&v iiri, oir &v in Xeyoiro Xpiartavds 
$ Bishop of Jerusalem, 345. ' 

II Uiariif . . . Ttipffoov novf]v t^v iiro r^f iKK\fi<riai vvvi aol vapaSidoitivriVf 
rfiv CK Traafii ypacjtfjs iaxvptonivriv, 

IT Bishop of that See 371. 

** 'O irpdf ritv eKxXriaiav 0MiT(a», irpoi rdv Xpiffrov ^vTiitpvs 0\ivti, 

tt Bishop of Cfesarea, 369 

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in special need of assistance firom you (Western 
Bishops), to the end that they who profess the 
Apostolic Faith, having done away with the schisms 
which they have invented, may henceforward be 
subjected to the authority of the Church,* and see 
our own churches also recover their pristine glory 
of orthodoxy." — T. iii. p. i. E^, xciL ad Ital, fyc. 

And St. Epiphaniusf declares: ** There is a 
king's highway, and that is the Church of God 
and the pathway of Truth. J But each of the 
heresies have left the king's highway ...... and is 

dragged forward into error ; and the shamelessness 
of error knows no limits in every heresy. Come, 
then, ye servants of God and children of the Holy 
Church, ye who are acquainted with the safe rule, § 
and are waUdng in the way of truth, and are not 
dragged from side to side by words, the summons 
of each iaise sect, for slippery are their ways." — 
r. i. Adv. Hares. 

Thus also the Council of Aries, || which asserted 
its right to condemn heretics, on the ground that 
the Church is God's Judge in matters of faith : 
" Whom (the heretics) both the present authority 
of God and the tradition and rule of Truth have 

in such wise repudiated wherefore God, and 

our mother the Church being judge, she who both 

♦ *XirOTay9fvat t8v Xoinov rrf dvdevria rfii iKKXrjatas. 
I Made Bishop of Salamis, 366. 

I "Effrt yip bS6s 0a<n\iKfi, fins lariv ^ rov Qsov ^icXiifrta, hdoitopia ms 

$ O^ rdv Kav6va da^aXi? y^vfaaKovrsi. 

II Held 314. 


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knows and approves her own,* they were either 
condemned or repulsed." — Ep. Syri. SUvestro et 
dL Sfc, 

And St. Ambrose,t when he says : " Thou art 
in the sight of the world ; let the Church point out 
the way to thee,** $ 

And St. Jerome, § when he exhorts: "Go ye 
not out ; believe not that the Son of Man is either 
in the desert of the Gentiles or in the secret cham 
bers of the heretics ; but that from the east even to 
the westy His faith shines in the Catholic Churches." 
— T. vii. I. 4, Com. in St. Matt. 

St. Chrysostomll affirms: '*He (Christ in the 
passage, Loy I am with you^ fyc.) addresses 
Himself to believers as one body. For tell me 
not, says he, of the difficulty of these things, for I 
am with you, making all things easy." 

And St. Augustine : H " For my part, I would 
not believe the Gospel imless the authority of the 
Catholic Church moved me to it."** — T. viii 
contr. Manich. 

And Vincentius of Lerins ft says : " Discern the 
truth of Catholic Faith from the felsenesss of 
heretical pravity in two ways, (1) by the 

• Quoa et Dei nostri praseni auctoritae, et traditio ac regula veritatii • • • , 
Judice Deo et matre ecclesia, quoB suoa novit et comprobat. 

I Made Bishop against his will 374. 
X Monstret tibi ecclesia viam. 

$ Wrote about 300. 

II Made Bishop of Constantinople 398. 
IT Made Coadjutor Bishop of Hippo 395. 

** Ego vero evangelio Don crederem, nisi nee Catholic* eedeste conmo. 
veret auctoritas. 
tt Wrote about 435. The great authority among Anglicana. 

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authority of the Divine Law ; (2) by the traditioix 
of the Catholic Church. Here some one perhaps 
may ask. Seeing that the canon of Scripture is per- 
fect and self-sufficient, what need is there that the 
Church's interpretation be joined unto it? The 
reason is, because all men do not take the sacred 
Scripture on account of its profoimdness in one 
and the same sense For this cause very neces- 
sary it is that we be directed according to 

the rule of the ecclesiastical and Catholic sense." 
— Commonitorium. 

We were constrained by these and a host of like 
authorities, and hence the belief that the Church 
of Christ, in a certain sense and to a certain degree, 
had the right to decide in matters of faith. 

But I now asked myself, in what sense and to 
what degree she could hold this right, if not in the 
most unlimited 1 Where would be my security , if 
her authority to me was not to be considered abso- 
lute ^nijinal, and hence infallible 1 I saw at once 
that any authority which admitted of my own re- 
vision or consent before it took effect, could, in a 
matter of revelation from God, be no authority, and 
hence no guide. And therefore, as I had already 
yielded assent to the judgment of the Catholic 
Church by virtue of her divine commission, I now 
felt myself under the necessity of yielding to her 
without reserve^ without question, or doubt. In 
otter words, of holding that her judgment in mat- 
ters of feith and discipline, when officially given 
through her priesthood, must be distinct and ded- 

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sive. That her power was dispensed to her from 
above, to qualify her to be a guide to the blind, 
and ^^a Ught to them that sit in darkness." 
Y But I was a professed teacher and overseer in the 

Church ; and as such, on my own principles, must 
be invested with a portion of the Church's power 
to teach and to guide. This thought, when brought 
seriously to the test, filled me with alarm. I asked 
myself, with what kind of authority I could pro- 
claim the truth of God ? Whether I really felt 
myself in a condition to speak positively , that is, 
without shadow of doubt, to the inquiring sinner. 
To declare to one demanding certainty (and who 
should not ?) on vital questions of faith and prac- 
tice, this or that view of the matter is infallibly 
true 1 Suppose, I said to myself, that such an in- 
quirer, impelled by the words of Christ, ^^ He that 
heareth you heareth me,'* had come to me, with an 
earnest spirit, to know certainly and exactly ** what 
he must do to be saved ? " That, convinced by 
the New Testament that he must " believe on the 
Lord Jesus Christ," he had come to be informed 
*^ Who Jesus Christ is, that he might believe on 
Him ? " in what precise relation He stands, not only 
to God the Father by His Divine nature, but also 
• to us sinners by His Incarnation, and sufferings, and 
death? That, convinced by the New Testament 
that he must " be born of water and of the Spirit, 
be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to wash 
away his sins," he had come to be informed the 
precise nature and benefits of the duty, — what it 

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implied in itself 1 and what it implied in respect to 
the recipient 1 What it required of one coming to 
it ? What it did for one submitting to it ? What 
it expected of one blessed by it? That, con- 
vinced by the New Testament of his having 
been made " the temple of the Holy Ghost " in 
baptism, and of his having incurred the awful pun- 
ishment of those who " defile " that temple, by 
mortal sin after baptism, he had come to me, and 
now earnestly entreated to know what he must do 
to regain God's favbr,*and be restored to the bless- 
ings he had forfeited by his grievous transgressions ? 
That he was assured by the New Testament that 
our Lord, before His ascension, commissioned His 
apostles to teach *' every creature " in " all nations," 
giving His promise to be with them to " the end 
of the world," and sealing that promise by breath- 
ing into them the Holy Ghost, and saying to them,' 
" Whosesoever sins ye remit they are remitted un- 
to them, and whosesoever sins ye retain they are 
retained." And now as he felt himself to be one 
of the creatures to whom the apostles were thus 
sent, he desired and demanded to be explicitly in- 
formed what precise benefit he, as a sinner, could 
claim imder this commission, and what exact line 
of duty he must pursue to secure it ? That, con- 
vinced by the New Testament of being imder a 
solemn and weighty obligation " to keep the t '^- 
of the spirit in the bond of peace, to striv 
gether for the faith of the Gospel, to obey 
who are commissioned to watch for souls," hei 

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to be instructed in this great duty, for a knowledge 
of its nature and extent, and how he was to decide 
and to act amid the conflicting claims and diverse 
teachings of this age of strife and apostasy from 
the Faith ? And furthermore, he read in the New 
Testament, that " when Christians were sick, they 
were commanded to send for the elders (or priests) 
of the Church, to pray over them, and anoint them 
with oil in the name of the Lord,'* in virtue of 
which great blessings were to be expected. And 
now as he contemplated that last fearful scene of 
his life, when approaching death was to put an end 
to his obedience and the use of God's grace on 
earth, he demanded, from the depths of a trem- 
bling soul, to know infallibly what he must do in 
respect to this command, which, if not settled now, 
must address itself to him with distracting force on 
his death bed! Suppose, thought I, all this and 
much more of the like kind should be addressed to 
my awakened and oppressed mind, what, in the name 
of Gody could I answer 1 What could I dare claim, 
or what evince, of that authority implied in a com- 
mission to stand before sinners in " Christie stead,** 
and speak to them with unerring certainty, the will 
of Christ in God 1 The thought was confounding ! 
And I turned from myself to those with whom 
I was in visible communion, and I asked, in respect 
to the above questions, if I have not this authority 
to answer in my own person, perhaps I may in 
conjunction with my fellow-bishops and churchmen. 
In our hands the Book of Common Prayer was 

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professedly the symbol of our Faith and the au- 
thorized guide in our teaching. But a moment's 
thought convinced me, that on the solemn ques- 
tions proposed to me as above, this Book, whatever 
might be its merits, could give no certainty. For 
a moment's thought only was needful to let in upon 
my mind the sorrowful £ict of its utter inefficiency 
to produce agreement among the only persons as- 
sociated with me and around me, who claimed au- 
thority, to teach; — inefficiency, not only to pro- 
duce agreement, but also to restrain from mutual 
charges of teaching falsely — teaching ** another 
Gospel." Under the torturing influence of a 
thought which thus came home to my conscience, 
I could hear myself appealed to from the first age 
of the Church : " Thou, who art seeking, why dost 
thou look to those who are themselves seeking ? 
If the doubtful are led by the doubtful, the imas- 
sured by the unassured, the blind by the blind, 
they must needs be led together into the ditch."* 
And strongly was I moved- to obey at once the ap- 
peal of another Father : f " There is here a contra- 
diction of tongues, — divers heresies, divers schisms 
cry aloud : run to the tabernacle of God, and lay 
&st hold of the Catholic Church, and thou shalt be 
protected from the contradiction of tongues." % 

* Tertutban f St Augustine. 

X It wu at this period, as I was perfonning my last ordinatian, that I 
came to the determinatioa never, without entire relief of mind, to repeat it 
And here let me say, that I had not as yet, had communication of any kind 
with Catholics on the subject of my doubts ; and, furthermore, that I coiii- 
municated the above fact to a member of my Standing Committee beforo 
leaving my diocese, as he, if called upon, will testify 

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It was now said to me^ by way of kind and 
anxious expostulation^ and by a very dear friend, 
that at this time of peculiar trial to the Church, 
we must be willing to take part in the suffering, 
must try to be thankful for the blessings which are 
still granted us, be satisfied with a near approxi- 
mation to the truth. That the certainty of the 
Jirst age of the Church is not our inheritance. 
But my yearning, desolate heart demanded *' why ? ** 
demanded the proof that Christ's command to ** hear 
the Church '* was not meant for our day; and that 
the Church is not now, as well as at any former 
time, commissioned and expected to give to the in- 
quirer, a distinct and certain answer ; to be ready 
to return to those asking " a reason of the hope 
that is in her," an answer that can neither be mis- 
taken nor gainsaid. Yes, out of the abundance 
of my own pressing needs I demanded the proofs 
that the necessity is not now as great as it was in 
the days of the apostles, for certainty in the &ith. 
That the wants of mankind are not as urgent in 
their demands now as they were then for the bless- 
ing of an infallible guide. That the moral fiwiul- 
ties are less blinded, — the natural reason less un- 
certain, — the causes of bewilderment less perplex- 

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ing, — the wiles of Satan less artful and ensnaring 
— demanded some proof or intimation from God's 
Word, that the promise of Christ's presence with 
His Church, which by its very terms extends itself 
to the end of the world, could, by any human skill 
or safety, be limited to the age of the apostles. 
That " the gates of hell, which were never to prevail 
against her," could rightly be supposed so to crip- 
ple and muzzle her, that she could not hold herself 
erect, and speak as a guide to the erring. That 
her divine powers were to be worn out by time ; 
were to grow feeble and insufficient after the prim- 
itive days. That " the pillar and groimd of the 
truth," so glorious and trustworthy at first, was in 
the end to become so worn and shattered as not to 
be a sure foimdation and defence; a foundation 
upon which to stand without wavering, a defence 
that could be trusted in every assault. My heart, 
yea, my whole soul, now alive to the value of 
truth, demanded from God^s Word, and not from 
mere protestant tradition^ some convincing proof, 
that "the church of the living God" was thus to 
fail in her living, abiding, infallible power to teach. 
For I had been led to a thorough investigation 
into the nature of that power itself, into the ques- 
tion, how far it *is human and how far divine ; 
and I had perceived the unreasonableness of the 
protestant objection to the infallibility of the 
Church, grounded on the universal fallibility of 
human judgment ; inasmuch as that infallibility 
was not made to " stiand in the wisdom of men, but 

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in the power of God.** Inasmuch as the divine 
•word did not call upon men to " hear the church," 
because of the superior talent or learning or 
worldly wisdom of her priesthood, (" the wisdom 
of this world " being actually accounted " foolish- 
ness with God,") but because Christ is in the 
Church by His wisdom, and power, and authority, 
— because, as saith St. Ignatius, *^ Where Christ 
is, there is the Catholic Church," * or because, as 
Origen saith, *^she hath received the light of 
Christ as the moon receives light from the sun," — 
or because, as Christ saith, tfce Holy Ghost was 
sent to abide with the Church, and to lead her 
into all truth, — or as St. Irenaeus interprets, 
** where the Church is, there is the Spirit of 
God,** t Because, that no matter how exalted in 
point of natural or acquired ability might be her 
chief bishop, or any of her bishops or priests, they 
never rest in the discharge of their functions upon 
their personal qualities or attainments, but solely 
and explicitly upon the gifts of the Holy Ghost 
dispensed to them for their office and work, re- 
spectively, in the Church of God. And that, too, 
because they were instructed by God to expect 
these gifts, and place their sole dependence upon 
them. Hence it seemed to me, not less unreason- 
able to object to the Church's infallibility because 
of the human element in her^ than it would be to 
assail the infallibility of our blessed Lord on the 

♦ E«cr fi KaOoXiKfi iKKXnoia. 

t Ubi enim ecclesia, ibi et Spiritus Dei. 

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ground of his being *^very man." Indeed, I 
asked myself what there was in mere human nature 
at the time of the Apostles, which gave the Church 
then a better security in her unaided or aided judg- 
ment, than she possesses now 1 For I well knew 
that the Apostles as men, were not exempt from 
the common infirmities, in both body and mind, of 
human nature; and that, if it were not for the 
fact, that these infirmities were imder the absolute 
control (in their authoritative teaching) of a higher 
power with which they were hnked, no reasonable 
confidence could be placed in their decisions or 
instructions in the faith. The truth is, I perceived 
that the infallibility of the Ohurch stood then 
where it stands now, in the divinity of her 
INCARNATE Head — in the wisdom and power of 
Him who took her nature — became her life, and 
united Himself to her in indissoluble and eternal 
bonds in the womb of the ever-blessed Virgin. 
Hence the Church is declared by St. Paul, to be 
His body. "The Church, which is His body.*^ 
The body of which God made flesh is the Head, 
Here, then, thought I, is the Church's security 
against error. Here is the source of her unerring 
knowledge, the ground of her unerring judgment. 
She consults and speaks by her Divine Head. 
His wisdom presides in her coimcils. His voice 
is heard in her decisions. Her union with Him 
constitutes her vitality. The very nature of this 
union insures her indefectibility no less than per- 
fetuity. As **the spouse of Christ," I use the 

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words of the holy Cyprian, ** cannot become adul' 
terate^* (AdtUterari nan potest sponsa Christi) 
neither can she cease to exercise her powers. For 
in Him ** she lives, and moves, and has her being." 
Her very life is "hid with Christ in God" — is 
placed beyond the reach of harm from Satan or 
the world; and must abide in safety so long as 
Christ her ever-living Head abides true to His own 
nature, and faithful to His promise, "Lo I am 
with you aU days" and must ever continue to 
speak infallible truth, so long as the everlasting 
God shall continue to make good His imperishable 
words, "My Spirit that is upon thee and my 
words which I have put into thy mouth, shall not 
depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of 
thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed 
henceforth and forever." ^^When the Spirit of 
truth is come He shall guide you into all truth. 
For He shall take of mine, and shall show it imto 

That my views here were not hasty, and my 
confidence not misplaced, I felt certain, if that can 
be considered mature, which was the settled belief 
of the Fathers ; and well founded, which had been 
their reliance amid the distractions of heresy, and 
the horrors of persecution. 

" For this cause," says St. Ignatius on his way 
to martyrdom, ^^did our Lord take ointment on 
His head, that He might breathe incorruption upon 

the Church." "Iva nvitj rij ixxXrjala di(pdaQOlav, 

"The public teaching of the Church," says St 

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Irenseus, *^is every where uniform and equally 
enduring.*' And lie gives the reason, viz., that 
^* our faith is ever kept by the Spirit of God in 
youthful freshness . . . making the vase (or Church) 
wherein it is, seem newly formed." * 

" The Church is impregnable,** says Clement of 
Alexandria, because " it is the divine will on earth, 
as it is in heaven." — (Strom, lib, iv.) " Our doctrine 
perishes not like human doctriney nor fades away 
like a feeble gift, for " this reason, " no gift of God 
is powerless, but endures, incapable of being put 
down, though prophesied of that it should be per- 
secuted unto the end." — lb. 

*^No one can be with Christ," exclaims St. 
Cyprian, " who is not with Christ* s spouse/* and 
for the reason, that *^ Christ and His Church are 
united with indissoluble bonds." — (JEp. xlix. ad 
Com.) " The Church is one," says he, ** which 
having obtained the grace of eternal life, lives for- 
ever, and gives life to the i)eople of God," (Ep. ad 
Quin.) because, " nothing can separate the Church 
from Christ." — (Ep. Ctecil.) " She it is that alone 
holds and possesses the whole power of her spouse 
and Lord." — (J^. Ixxiii. ad Jvhaien.) Thus " the 
spouse of Christ is undefiled and chaste, and can- 
not become an adulteress." — (De Unitate.) *^ The 
Church which is Catholic and one, is not rent nor 
divided, but is indeed connected together and knit 

* . . Quam perceptam ab ecclesia custodimus, et que amnper a Spiritu Deif 
quasi iu vase bono eximium quoddam depoeitum juvenescens, et juveuescere 
fadeoi ipsum vas in quo est — Adv. Harts. Lib, lib. ifi. c 24. 




by the cement of priests^ cleaving to each other." • 
And as the reason^ — " Consider," says he, " the 
majesty of God who ordains priests . . . and have 
respect to Christ, who, by His will and fiat^ and 
His own presence, governs both the prelates them- 
selves and the Church with the prelates." — (Ep, 
box. ad Pupian.) 

^* Which great and everlasting temple (the 
Church)," declares Lactantius, " because Christ is 
the builder, must have therein an everlasting priest- 
hood." — (Divin. Inst lib. iv.) 

'^Christ foretold," says Eusebius, **that the 
Church, which, during the years of His sojourning 
among men, was not seen nor established, shoidd 
be invincible, incapable of overthrow, "ui^jtfjjov xat 
axatttfiaxntor IcreaOia, For the reason, that ^* the 
God'Word dwells in the midst of His Church," &c. 
'Ey fieao yaq Tijg MnxXijatag xov Beor Xoyov xataaxijyovy, 
&c. (Dem. Evang. lib. v.) 

" The Church of Christ," says St. Athanasius, 
*^ shall be refulgent, and enlighten all under heaven, 
and be as abiding as the sim and the moon. For 
this passage says so — ' and His throne as the sun 
before me, and as the moon perfect forever, and 
a faithful witness in heaven.* " For " the throne, 
here," he continues, ^^ is Christ's throne, the Church, 
for in it He rests.*^ — (Expos, in Ps. IxxxviiL) 

'^ Thou hast built a Church on earth," says St 

* Quando ecclesia, que Catholica et una est, scissa non sit neque divisa, eed 
■itutique connexaet cohisrentium sibi in vicem sacerdotum gluUno copolata. 

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Ephraem,* ^^ which resembles the Church in heaven ; 
its foundations love impelled Thee to lay, while 
grace presided at its completion. Thou hast also 
taken it as Thy spouse and made it Thine by the 
price of Thy blood. Therefore, O Lord, Thou 
wilt guard it under Thy protection that the gates 
of hell prevail not against it." — (T. iii. Syr.) 

" She " (the Church), says St Ambrose, " may 
be overcast with clouds, but fail she cannot 

(Obumbrari potest, deficere non potest) The 

moon, in her monthly changes, seems to quench 
her light, that she may borrow from the sun. 
While others are shipwrecked, she looks on, her- 
self free and exempt from danger (ipsa immunis et 
exors periculi). Always prepared to have Christ's 
light shine upon her, and to derive gladness from 
it.»_(T. i. Be Abr. lib, ii.) 

** We may understand," says St Jerome, ^^ that 
even to the end of the world the Church may 
indeed be shaken by persecutions, but never can 
be overthrown. Bectuse the Lord God Almighty 
is the Lord God of tke Church, who hath promised 
to do this ; and His promise is nature^s law" 
(Cujus promissio lex naturaB est) 

"Nothing," reiterates St. Chrysostom, time 
after time, " nothing is equal to the Church. Tell 
me not of walls and arms ; for walls grow old, but 
the Church never grows old, ^ ixxXtjola dk ovdinoxs 
yi7^a,walls barbarians destroy, the Church not even 

• / Greek, ordained as is said, by Bt. Basil, and praised fbr his ezcettency 
1^ St Jerome, wrote about 350. 

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demons can overcome. Nothing is stronger than the 

Church. OdSlv yaq exxlrjalas laxvgoTegor, If thoU 

war against the Church, it is impossible for thee to 
conquer, Mxrjcra^ as difiif[xoivov. Why ? for God is 
stronger than all men. God hath rooted her, who 
will attempt to shake her? For this cause, the 
Scripture showing her firmness and immovable- 
ness, calls her a mountain — her incorruptibility calls 
her a virgin, T6 atpdogov^ a^g> xaXel nagOevov, her mag- 
nificence calls her a queen — that connection which 
she has with God calls her a daughter," &c. (T. iii. 
p. 391.) *^ Do I confide in my own strength ? I 
have His (Christ's) pledge — I hold His written 
Word, That is my staff — that my security. What 
are these words ? ^ I am with you all days even to 
the consummation of the world.* . . There man 
is the pilot, but here (in the Church) it is Christ. 
Therefore the vessel, though tossed by the tempest, 
is not overwhelmed." — (T. vi. in Is. c. ii) 

With such ground, upon which to stand, I felt 
that my confidence was neither imreasonable nor 
likely to fidl. Was not unreasonabhy because, in 
yielding to the Church as infallible^ I was not 
called upon to bow to man but to God. Nor likely 
to fail, for the same reason — viz., that I was cast 
for guidance, not upon any human wisdom in the 
Church, but solely upon the wisdom of her divine 
Head. Upon the God-Man, who had so loved the 
Church as to purchase her with His blood — take 
her to Himself as His spouse — ^'and promise her 
His presence and protection to the end of the 

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world. Notwithstandiiig, therefore, the confusion 
and darkness that were around me, I did not de- 
spair of being yet led by a clear light and harmo- 
nious voice into the way of life and peace. 




Another feature, however, in the same plea, 
was here presented, and by the same friend. He 
iirged that the darkness and confusion among Prot- 
estants, of which I complained, must be regarded 
as consistent with the promise of Christ's presence 
with His Church ; inasmuch as this state of things 
had been foretold in*the New Testament, as the 
characteristic and trial of the Church's latter days. 
In directing my thoughts to this plea, it became at 
once obvious, that while the finger of prophecy 
pointed to a kind of confusion in the bosom of the 
Church, it was not such as I realized in the com- 
munion of which I was a bishop. It was not such 
disorder as would confound the Church itself — 
stifle within her the heart of charity and the voice 
of truth — but such as would throw off from her 
body some of. her unruly sons, leaving them ran- 
kling with the gall of bitterness, and bewildered 
by a confusion of tongues. That the prediction 
was hence designed, not to foreshadow to the eyes 

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of the faithful a disheartening picture of a divided 
Church — but to hold up, as a beacon to the self- 
willed and the turbulent, the awful curse which 
must follow a separation from the ** one body of 
Christ." Certainly, St. Cyprian viewed the matter 
in this light : ^^ It ought not to move any £dthful 
person, ** says he, "who remembers the injunctions 
of the Apostle, how he forewarns us that in the Uut 
times certain proud persons, both contumacious 
and enemies to the priests of God, either withdraw 
from the Church or act against the Churcli, when 
both the Lord and His Apostles have foretold that 
such should now be. . . They, therefore, who 
have departed or may depart from the Church 
perish by their own &ult, but the Church herself 
who believes in Christ, never departs from Him at 
all ; and they are the Church who persevere in the 
house of God — (Nunquam ab eo omnino discedere, 
et eos esse ecclesiam, qui in domo Dei permanent.) 
But they are not the plant planted by God 
the Father, who we see are not rooted with the 
firmness of wheat, but are bldwn about like chaff. . . 
of whom also St. John says, *They went out from 
us, but they were not of us...or they would have 
remained with us.* Also St. Paul admonishes us 
not to be moved when the wicked perish from the 
Church, and that faith is not lessened by the with- 
drawal of the faithless. ^For what,* says he, ^ if 
some of them have fallen from the faith? Has 
their unbelief made the faith of God without effect ? 
God forbid. ^For God is true, but every man ii 

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Kar/" (Ep. iv. ad Camel) And again, — ''The 
Holy Spirit forewarns us by the Apostle and says, 
'There must be heresies, that they who are ap- 
proved may be manifest amongst us.* Thus are 
the fedthful approved, thus the faithless detected ; 
and thus even here,, before the day of judgment, 
the souls of the righteous are separated from the 
unrighteous 1 — the wheat from the chaflf." — (Pc 

And, St. Jerome viewed the matter in the 
same light : '' We may understand," says he, " that 
even to the end of the world the Church may be 
indeed shaken by persecution, but never can be 
overthrown." — ( T. vi. lib, iii) " The gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it. I consider the gates 
of hell to be vices and sin, or certainly the doctrines 
of heretics, by which men are enticed and led to 
heU." — (T. vii.Ki. iii.) 

And St. Ambrose : " As pure gold, so also the 
Church," says he,'''' when tried in the fire suffers 
no loss, but its brightness is rather increased, imtil 
the time when Christ shall come unto His kingdom, 
and recline His head on the faith of His Church." 
(T. i. in Ps. xi.) 

St. Chrysostom, after dwelling upon the promise 
of Christ to His Church, ' The gates of hell shall 
not prevail against it,* which he looks upon as a 
sure prophecy, says, "Come, let us take in 
hand still another prophecy which shines brighter 
than the sun, and is clearer than its rays, which 
lies under the observation of all men, and which 

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stretches out itself tmto all fdture generations^ as 
does the preceding prophecy also...Tea^ for from 
the day that it was spoken, even to the consumma- 
tion of the world, has it remained firm and un* 
shaken — gaining power day by day — acquiring 
fresh force, enabling all those who have Hved from 
that day, even xmto those who shall be xmtil the 
coming of Christ, to reap the greatest advantages 
from it, and to derive thence unspeakable aid. 
For our predecessors and theirs and theirs again, 
will know its power, as they behold the contests 
excited against it, the dangers and troubles, 
the timiults, and waves and storms ; but beholding 
it, still not overwhelmed, nor vanquished, not over- 
come, not extinguished, but flourishing, increasing, 
raised to a mightier elevation" — (T. i. Cont. Jud. 
et Gent,) 

And St. Augustine : ^^ There are some," says he, 
^^who say, she that was the Church of all nations is 
already no more ; she has perished. This they 
say who are not in her. The impudent assertion ! 
Is she Qo more because thou art not in her ? Look 
to it lest thou, for that cause, be no more. For 
she will be though thou be not, (O impudentem 
vocem ! Ilia non est, quia tu in ilia non es 1 Ilia 
erit, etsi tu non sis.) This assertion — full of pre- 
sumption and falsehood, upheld by no truth, with- 
out one spark of wisdom. ... the Spirit of God 
foresaw, and as it were, struck at such when He 
announced unity .... Therefore, even to the end 
of the world is the Church in all nations," &c. — 
(T. iv. in Ps, c, i.) 

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And Theodoret exclaims, *' Why contend ye lofty 
mountains, against the mountain on which the Lord 
desired to sit ? " (Ps. bdii.) The prophetic word is 
directed against the Jews, and the unlawful con- 
venticles of heretics who caU themselves Churches ; 
and it says, " Why do ye lift up yourselyes to con- 
tend and equal yourselves with the mountain, which 
God hath made His dwelling-place ? For there the 
Lord shall dwell unto the end : for not as He 
dwelt with you, O Jews, for a certain fixed time, 
so shall He abide therein ; but He shall have in 
this an everlasting habitation. For this is de- 
clared by that word unto the end." — (T. i. in Ps. 

Certainly these Fathers, with the wtole blessed 
company of martyrs and confessors, understood the 
prophecies relating to the '^ latter days," as I had 
imderstood them. Is it possible, then, I thought, 
that such glowing and confident anticipations, 
based upon the abiding love and promise of God, 
could fail! That faith, and hope, and charity 
thus inspired to pray, and suffer, and 4:oil, and 
endure unto the end, could in the end be rewarded 
with disappointment? That He who said, "and 
J, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me," 
would find that, ere all men could be reached, the 
cross must yield — the gates of hell must be trium- 
phant ! That " He who so loved the Church as 
to give Himself for it, that He might sanctify and 
cleanse it, and make it to Himself a glorious 
Church," would finally be driven to the confession, 

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ihat the work He had undertaken, was an oyer- 
match for His mighty power ! That He, who said 
to His people in the beginning : " Be of good cheer, 
I have OTorcome the world," would before the end, 
be compelled to retract His words; though **to 
give strong consolation. He had confirmed them 
with an oath — swearing by Himself, because He 
coidd swear by none greater ! " To me the thought 
was impiously absurd; all the divine attributes 
were against it; as all seemed pledged to secure 
the hopes of the Mthfiill 



The pka that a divided and distracted Church 
is contemplated and foreshadowed by Christian 
prophecy, " The Holy Spirit," says St. Augustine, 
** foresaw and struck at, when He announced 
•UNTiY." And so it had seemed to me. For how 
is it possible, I thought, to conceive unity to exist 
amid the turmoil and dissension of the so-called 
*^ Christian world V* I mean such unity as God's 
word requires — such unity as is set forth in the 
New Testament under the striking , figures, of 
" branches " engrafted in Christ " the Vine," — "a 
body," of which Christ is *^ the head," — *f a virgin " 
espoused to '* Christ as the husband," — "a house," - 

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of which Christ is the Master, — ''a templ6/*of 
which Christ is "the Priest," — "a kingdom," of 
which Christ is "Ruler," — "a Kght," of which 
Christ is ^^ the fountain," — "a, well of living water," 
of which Christ is " the spring." For how, I thought, 
can branches of the same vine be so separated 
as to have no mutital visible connection, and still 
live together in the vine ? How can members of 
the soTne body be so disunited as to lose all exter- 
nal communion, and still have a vital union with 
" the head ? " IJow can a virgin espoused to " one 
Lord," be seen wandering after ^^ divers lusts and 
pleasures," and still be regarded as a true and £iithfiil 
spouse ? How can a ^^ house divided against itself " 
continue to stand ? How can " a temple," with no 
priest nor sacrifice, be one with " the temple " of 
Christ's body, which has both priest and sacrifice 1 
How can a kingdom with its different parts at war 
fail to " be brought to desolation ? " How can rays 
from the same sun possibly be at variance in their 
natures ? Water from the same fountain be both 
sweet and bitter? ^^A House divided against 
itself^* not fail? How then can the truth that 
. " we are one body in Christ and every one mem- 
bers one of another," consist with opposing creeds, 
and altars, and mutual charges of damnable 
heresy ? Do such things agree with that unity for 
which our Lord so earnestly prayed? A unity 
where the same fellowship should bind together the 
several members of His body, as made Himself and 
His Eternal Father One 1 Or are we driven to the 

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fearful alternative that that prayer failed ? And 
that that suppliant is not to " see of the travail of 
His soul and be satisfied ? " If so, thought I, how 
blinded must have been St. Clement of Bome! 
" Have we not one God, and one Christ, and one 
Spirit of grace poured out upon us, and one calling 
in Christ ? Do we raise a sedition against our otvn 
body ? Come to such a height of folly as to forget 
that we are members one of another 1 Remember 
the words of our own Lord Jesus how He said, " Woe 
to that man, — it were better that he had never been 
bom; better that a millstone had been placed 
around his neck and lie cast into the sea, than 
that he should scandaHze any of my elect — one of 
my little ones ! " {Ep. 1 ad Cor.) 

How blinded must have been St. Ignatius ! 
*^ Where division is. . .God dwelleth not. Be not 
deceived, whosoever followeth one that createth 
schism, he inheriteth not the kingdom of God." 
(Ep. ad Philad.) 

How blinded St. Justin ! ^^ The word of God is 
addressed to believers, as being one Church, one 
synagogue, one sotJli." (Dial, cum Tryph.) 
• And St. Cyprian! "The Church cannot be 
separated or divided against itself, but preserves 
the unity of an inseparable and undivided house. 
.... The very sacrifices of our Lord show forth 
Christian unanimity, knit together by a firm 
and inseparable charity. For when the Lord 
calls bread, formed from the union of many grains. 
His body. He indicates one people united together 

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And when He calls wine^ which is made out of 
many clusters of grapes, and is incorporated into 
one, His blood, He signifies one flock joined to- 
gether by the admixture of a united multitude. 
Besides, because Christ's people cannot be rent. 
His tunic, woven and conjoined throughout, was 
not divided by those to whom it felL Individual, 
conjoined, co-entwined, it shows the coherent con- 
cord of the people who have put on Christ. In 
the sacrament and sign of His garment He. has 
declared the unity of His Church . . . The Lord says, 
* I and the Father are one ; * and again, of the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, it is written, 
these three are one. And does any one believe 
that this xinity, thus proceeding from the divine 
immutability, (Hanc unitatem de divina firmitate 
venientem,) and cohering in heavenly Sacraments, 
can be rent asunder in the Church, and be split by 
the force of antagonist wills ? He who holds not 


NOT LIFE AND SALVATION ! (Hauc unitatcm qui non 
tenet, Dei legem non tenet, non tenet Patris et 
Filii fidem, vitam et salutem non tenet.) There is 
one God and one Christ, and His Church is one, 
and tfce faith one, and the people one, joined into 
the unity of one body by the cem^t of concord. 
(Plebs una in solidam corporis unitatem concordiae 
glutino' copulata.) Unity cannot be sundered, nor 
the one body be separated by the dislocation of its 
joints, (Scindi unitas non potest, nee corpus unuJB 

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discidio compaginis separari,) nor torn in pieces by 
the rending apart of its vitals, (Divulsis lacera- 
tione visceribus in frusta discerpi ;) whateyer is 
parted from the womb cannot live and breathe in a 
state of separation; it loses the principle of its 
subsistence. (Substantiam salutis amittit.)" 

How blinded must have been the blessed Leo ! 
^^ In xinity of feith and baptism is our fellowship 
undivided. Unless faith be one it is no faith. 
For St. Paul says, ^One Lord, one feith, one bap- 
tism.*" (Ser. xxiv. in Nat. Dom.) 

If blinded ^in respect to the nature of Church 
unity y equally so must they have been as regards 
its universality. If that unity be consistent with 
national divisions and national " independence " in 
regard to the fidth ; what means St. Irenaeus when 
he declares, "that the Church, though spread 
over the whole world, ^xaddlr^g x^g o^xofiiprjg) hav- 
ing received the faith. . .guards it sedulously, as 
though dwelling in one house ? (^'Slg Mva ehov olxox> 
aa,) And these truths she uniformly holds as 
having but one soul, and one and the same heart, 
and these she proclaims, and teaches, and hands 
down uniformly, as though she had but one mouth 
For though, throughout the world the languages 
axe various, still the force of the tradition is one 
and the same. (^H d-Ovafiig ttj^ najgaddcrewg (jua xal ^ 
adr^.) As God's handiwork ^the siin is one and the 
same throughout the universe, so the preaching of 
the truth shines every where, and enlightens all 
men that vnsh to come to a "knowledge of the truth 

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. • .The whole Church has one and the same faith 
throughout the whole world." (Adv, Hares, lib. L 
c. X.) 

What means Tertullian ? ^^ The Apostles. . .went 
forth into the whole world and promulgated the 
same doctrine of the same faith to the nations. . . 
Thenceforward other Churches ^borrowed the tra- 
dition of the &ith»and the seeds of doctrine. . .The 
whole kind must needs be classed under their 
originaL Whence these Churches, so many and 
so great, are but that one primitive Church from 
the Apostles. . .Thus all are the primitive, and all 
apostolic, while all being one prove unity.^* — (Pe 
Prtescr. n. 20.) What means, too, the Alexan^ 
drian Clement ? ^^ The excellence of the Chmrchj 
like the principle of every thing concrete, is m 
unity. . .having nothing similar or equal to itself.^* 
(xal fif] dhv bxovua dfioiov ij laov l«vrif.) (^Strom* 
lib. vi.) 

What the learned Origen ? *^ Christians are not 
one nation, but out of all nations, one people ; and, 
therefore, did Moses, as the highest honor, desig- 
nate them as not a nation, but — if the' expression 
be allowable — a nation of all nations." (T. iv. 
lib. viii.) 

What, too, St. Cyprian, by declaring and so often 
reiterating the necessary universality of unity in 
the Church ? " For we are many shepherds, yet 
do we feed but one flock." (Etsi pastores multL 
• sumus, unum tamen gregem pascimus.) 

** The episcopate is one, a part of which, in con- 

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j80 unity of the chuech. 

sistency with its entire oneness, is held by each 
bishop. (Episcopatus unus est, cujus a singulis in 
soHdum pars tenetur.) * The Church, too, is one, 
though extended far and wide. . .As the sun has 
many rays, yet (me light. And the tree many 
branches, though one strength, resting upon its 
firmly clinging root. And as when many streams 
flow down from one fountain-head. . .yet is tmity 
preserved in the common source. Part a ray of 
the sun from its orb, this division the unity allows 
not ; break a branch from the tree, and it can bud 
no more: cut a stream from its source, and the 
remnant dries up." — (De Unitate.) 

What means St. Gregory of Nyssa? ^^The 
whole Church is the one body of Christ. 'Ev a^fia 

tov Xgtgov -fi exxlrjtna nacra. . .Whoso has leamt that 

Christ is the head of the Church, let him, before 
all things, bear this in mind, that the head is ever 
of the same nature and substance as the body be- 
neath it. And that there is a certain coherence of 
each of the limbs with the whole." (T. iii. De 
Perf. Chris.) 

What St: Chrybostom ? '- He (St. Paul) calls it 
the Church of God, showing the necessity of its 
unity. For if it be of God, it is united, and is 
one, not in Corinth only, but in the whole world. 
. . .The Church that is among you is a part of the 
Church spread every where, and of the body that 

* I have ventured, though with a good deal of self-distrust, to differ in my 
translation of this passage, both from the Rev. Mr. Waterworth, whom I have ' 
generally followed, and the Oxford translation, which seems to me less £eUx 
in this instance than in most others. 

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is constituted by means of aU the Churches ; so 
that not only with each other, but also with all tho 
Church throughout the world must you hare peace, 
if at least ye be members of the whole body, 'H 
ixxXijaia ij ?i«^' i5/**v ftigog igi r^f navtaxov xei/iiyf^g 
exxXrjaiag ....«» yi 7tuvx6s itni fUX^ jov a(i/Aatog, 
(T. X. Horn, xxxii,) 

What means the great St Augustine? *^The 
Apostle says, (1 Cor. xiii.) ^If I hare faith so that 
I could remove mountains, and have not charity,* 
&c. We have, therefore, to inquire, who have 
charity 1 You will find that it is they alone who 
love unity. And as we are inquiring where the 
Church of Christ is, let us hear Him who redeemed 
it with His own blood, declaring : * Ye shall be 
witnesses unto me. . .to the uttermost part of the 
earth.' With this Church, which is diffused through- 
out the whole earth, whoso communicates not, with 
whom he communicates not, thou seest, if thou dost 
but understand whose words these are. (Huic ec- 
clesiae, qua^ per totam terram diffunditur, quisquis 
non communicat, cui non communicet vides. . .) 
That Church assuredly is one, which our ancestors 
called the Catholic, that they might show by the 
name itself that it is throughout the whole world. 
For throughout the whole is expressed in Greek 
by xa66lov. But this Church is the body of Christ, 
as the Apostle says. His body which is the Church. 
Whence assuredly it is manifest that he who is not 
among the members of Christ cannot have Chris- 
tian salvation. Now the members of Christ axe 


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united to each other by the charity of unity, and 
by the same cohere to their own head^ which is 
Jesus Christ." (De Unitate, fyc.) 

Here, thought I, there can be no mistake, — ^ no 
misconception. Such wisdom cannot be blind. 
Such cautious piety cannot mistake. Such weight 
of authority cannot be questioned ! The necessity 
of strict, visible unity, — such unity as, both from 
its nature and universality, does not and cannot 
exist among protestants, — must be preserved, or 
death be the consequence to the separating party ! 
And what a consequence ! The holy Irenaeus real- 
ized it when he said : " No Reformation of theirs 
can be so advantageous, as the evil of schism is 
pernicious ! ** [' Ovdefna de TTjXixa^Tfj d^varat ngbg 
dvTov xardgdaxrig yeviadai^, 'fiXixrj jov ^^^(TfittTog i<n&v -^ 
pXa^v] — -^^^« II(^r. 1. iv. Those two great lights 
of the Church, St. Cyprian and St. Augustine, 
felt it when they said, by way of warning, *' He 
who holds not this unity, holds not life and salva- 
tion!, ..He who is not thus in the members of 
Christ, cannot have Christian salvation ! " And 
again : *^ Who is the criminal, the traitor, who so 
inflamed with the madness of discord, as to think 
aught can rend, or as to venture on rending, God^s 
unity, the Church of Christ ?. . .Thinkest thou any 
can stand and live that withdraws from the Church, 
and forms for himself other resting-places and 
homss 1 " (Stare tu et virere putas posse de eccle- 
ma recedentem, sedes sibi alias, et diversa domicilia 
condentem.) — (De Unitate.) 

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When I meditated, therefore, upon these warn- 
ings, coming up from the very centre, as it were, of 
God's power in the Church, urging to unity, and 
crying aloud against schism as the sure token of 
God's desertion and our coming destruction,. — en- 
treating us not to rend the hody of Christ, lest we 
open the earth imder our feet, I entreated still more 
fervently that God. would lead me 'without delay to 
a place of safety ; for I began to realize, with aw- 
ful clearness, that I had little safety where I stood. 
For, when I asked for certain knowledge of God's 
wiU, I heard around me only "confusion of 
tongues." When I asked for authority, I found 
only individiLal opinion ; — for infallibility , a con- 
fession of doubt ; — for unity in fundamental faith, 
division and mutual crimination ; -^ no claim to 
universality, and no agreement even in the narrow- 
est sectarianism ! But when-I turned my ear, and 
listened to the voice of the Fathers, echoing the 
voice of God, I heard clearness and positiveness of 
speech, — heard the assertion in the Church of 
divine authority, Catholicity, infallibility, and ne- 
cessary, abiding unity ! What should I do ? Of 
one thing I felt certain, — that " Faith cometh by 
hearing, and hearing by the word of God ; " and 
that the word of God was not to be learned from 
teachers, the truth of whose teaching depended 
upon the judgment of man ! I had made an ad- 
vance, — had come to the conviction that no'^reality, 
no certainty was to be attained in my present posi*- 
tion ! But with this conviction, thanks be to God, 


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I had arrived at another, viz., that such reality and 
certainty were yet within my reach. I determined, 
by God's help, to go forward, if perchance I might 
secure theml 



Thus fer, I assure my £riends, I had had no in- 
tercourse with any living Catholic. My study had 
been the Fathers, with Protestant interpretations. 
Indeed, the editions of both Greek and Latin Fa- 
thers which I consulted, were such as had been rec- 
ommended to me by Protestants, and had been in 
my library for at least fifteen years. While my 
companions and prompters were, as far as I con- 
sulted them, all of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
it is a matter of thankfulness, which I ought here 
to record, that I have been able, through the kind- 
ness of various firiends, to obtain all the books as 
matters of reference in writing now, to which God's 
providence directed me in originally examining 
the questions. And, as argument after argument 
seemed to fade before my mind, some of them be- 
set me with entreaties; begged me to review the 
Anglican claims, to contrast them in the light of 
history'an^ charity with all others, and especially 
with those of Catholics ; and to see if something 
could uot be done to silence discord and settle tiHith, 

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through the instrumentaKty of a ^^ Provincial Coun- 
cil," connected with the revival of the Anglican 
'^ Convocation." I consented, even at this, point, to 
reconsider the capability of the Anglican Church to 
give me relief; to search anew, among Anglican 
pretensions, for some possible ground upon which 
helpless man, commanded by Almighty God to 
" hear the Church," and destined to give an ac- 
count to Him for failing in obedience, might stand 
in safety. But I felt bound to penetrate, if pos- 
sible, to the very root of this question ; — to in- 
quire, first of all, into the right, which, upon prin- 
ciples long since settled, the Anglican communion, 
and hence all communions growing out of it, could 
reasonably have, to claim even my attention ; what 
possible authority, based as it must be upon mere 
national prerogative, they could have to present 
themselves as a court of the last appeal in religion ? 
To attempt even to decide for me, or any other 
man, the questions that pressed themselves upon 
my conscience, — questions involving the very es- 
sence of Christian faith and practice — demanded, 
from their very nature, an infaUible power. I 
turned to England, the source of all ecclesiastical 
or priestly authority to which I could lay claim. 
And what was the confession of the first voice that 
I heard on this subject ? Alas ! that the Anglican 
Church distinctly disclaimed all authority in reli- 
gion as an infallible judge ; distinctly disclaimed 
any such connection with God as would enable it to 

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act as an infallible propounder or interpreter of 
God's infaUible wiU!* 

Here I found myself arrested as by some magic 
influence ! A^ voice from above thundered in my 
ear: "Cursed is the man that trusteth in man I " 
(Jer. xvii. 5.) What but trusting in man, thought 
I, is it, to lean upon any judgment in matters of 
faith, short of the infallible judgment of Almighty 
God ! What but trusting in man, to give heed to 
the counsels of a Church, which proclaims itself 
controlled, in any degree in its decisions, by the 
imperfections of m4m! 

Here I stand, I thought, an utterly dependent 
creature, commanded by Almighty God to believe 
and do certain things to save myseK from His 
righteous judgments. He assures me that He has 
commissioned a messenger to act in His stead, and 
tell me what these things are. A messenger pre- 
sents himself. But his first word is, I am not sure 
that I can give you exactly and infallibly (indeed I 
am sure I cannot) the requirements of your Sov- 
ereign. Ought I to trust him ? Ought I to listen 
for a moment to his word ? Ought I not at once, 
and out of due respect to the love, and- wisdom, 
and veracity of that Sovereign, to tirm from such 
a one as a deceiver ? as guilty of the strange pre- 

* I here mean, that the whole Reforaiation was not only conducted on the 
principle that the Church ia fallible, and that one of the thirty-nine articles 
declares th|s of her highest court of appeal, a General CouneU, — bat also, that 
in reference to all the solemn questions which I bav« supposed above ad- 
dressed to myself, there would be an unhesitating acknowledgment on the 
part of all her great living teachers of fallible judgment. 

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sumptioii of asserting^ at one moment^ his commis- 
sion from God to "teach" God^s infallible toiU, 
and then at the veiy next^ of confessing his ina- 
bility to do it : or, what is the same thing, to do it 
with inevitable truth and certainty ? to do it, not 
only, as some plead, with a reasonable precision in 
essential points, but, as I have ah-eady shown to be 
necessary, with a precision excluding all doubt in 
every point of feith and practice on which God has 
condescended to speak to man. 



But, had not Anglican authority been vitiated 
in my view by its acknowledged fallibility, another 
admitted £ict seemed an effectual bar to its legiti- 
mate exercise. According to God's Word inter- 
preted by primitive antiquity, I had already seen 
that God's Church is essentially Catholic ; not re- 
stricted either in her privileges or prerogatives to 
any one nation, but made up of believers gathered 
out of aU nations. " Qor of all nations," as 
saith Origen, '^ one people." That her commis- 
sion was to '^ teach all nations.*' The promised 
presence of her Divine Head was, '5 Lo, I am with 
you [in her teaching all nations,] aU days to the 
end of the world." That her constitution was, 
" One body in Christ, and every one members one 


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of another." That her binding, her divinely en- 
joined rule was, " Be of one mindy — speak the 
same things. Mark them that make divisions con- 
trary to the doctrine you have received, and avoid 
them.^^ That her motto was, — that is to be taught 
and held " which hath been believed every where, 
always and by all m^nJ*^ [Id teneamus, quod ubi- 
que, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est] 
Vincentius, And that her' symbol was, " One 
Catholic and Apostolic Church I " Now with this 
truth before me, and with the admission of the 
Anglican commimion itself, that it constituted but 
a part, and comparatively a smaU part, of this 
Catholic Church, I saw that commimion confidently 
taking the seat of supreme dictator, and against 
the settled faith of all other Christian nations, pre- 
suming, in the awful name of God, to proclaim to 
mankind *^ what they must do to be saved " ! 

This marvellous assumption of authority, (though 
it strongly reminded me of something quite like it 
in an early century,) forced from me the involun- 
tary exclamation, " Whence could it possibly have 
arisen 1 " What plausible pretext even, on any 
principle hitherto received by the body of Christ, 
could be pleaded in its justification ? In casting 
my eye over the field of conjecture, I asked mjrself, 
**Has England at any time been favored with 
special revelations from God, exempting her from 
the obligations which had hitherto rested upon her 
sons and daughters to * hear the Church, — the One, 
Holy, Catholic Church ; to observe the injunction. 

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' Obey them that have the rule over you, and sub- 
mit yourselves ? ' Did England receive the depo- 
situm of the Faith directly from God, with some 
special commission, independent of the authority 
of the Christians of other nations, to publish it to 
the rest of the world, and instruct them how it was 
to be understood? In other language, ^Did the 
word of God go out from them, or came it unto 
them,' with directions how to put it in practice ? " 
It was asserted, I know, that that word was 
brought to England by the hand of an Apostle, and 
hence by a distinct and independent power of the 
Apostolate ! Suppose the fact of history admitted, 
how, I inquired, does the inference follow ? How 
does that inference, — the idea of distinct and in- 
dependent apostolic powers touching the faith, — 
agree with what we have seen to be the teachiiig of 
the Apostles, " One Lord, one Faith, one Baptism," 
&c ? How does it agree with the practice of the 
Apostles, as indicated in the first Council of Jeru- 
salem ? It wajs pleaded, that soon after the Apos- 
tles, a different custom seems to have prevailed. 
That each Diocese or Patriarchate was allowed to 
hold councils of its own, to settle its own religious 
disputes. This, I saw, was to a certain extent true. 
But I saw that it was true also, that when such dis- 
putes involved questions of general interest, or 
threatened, by the violence and pertinacity of the 
disputants, the general peace, resort was had to the 
judgment and decision of the universal Church (as 
in the cases of Arius and others,) and that when 

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this decision was once had^ the matter of dispute 
was regarded by all true Catholics as wfaUibly and 
hence finally determined. And further^ that no 
decision by a nation or body less than the whole 
Catholic Church, was felt to be inevitably binding, 
except as such decision had in some way been con- 
curred in by the whole Catholic Church ; and in 
case it was made against the already declared 
judgment of the whole Church, it was at once 
either appealed from or rejected as an act of schism. 
As, therefore, the decisions of the English parlia- 
ment at the Beformation, which determined the po- 
sition of the Anglican commimion, were to my 
mind, as I shall show hereafter, of this latter char- 
acter, I did not see how I could reasonably claim 
to be a Catholic, and still consent to act under them. 



Waving, for the time, the question of England's 
independent authority in matters of faith, I was 
here constndned to ask, at what period in the his- 
tory of that authority are we to trust it as a suffi- 
cient guide to eternal life ? * At a period before 
or after the Beformation ? — The question is rea- 

* See Bramhall, <* Answer to Bishop ot Chalcedon/* Dr. Hook*a Sermon 
* Bmt tbe Cbarck." Palmer*! ^ Treatise on the Chiucb," 4bc. 

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sonable. For she maintains in the person of her 
most eminent divines, that she is identically the 
same Church now that she was prior to that memo- 
rable event. And, if she was commissioned by 
Christ and sustained in the work of her commis- 
sion by Christ's presence, promised to His Church 
for all daysy she must have had, at least, as good a 
claim to our Gonfidence before the Eeformation — 
while she was yet in commimion with the Catholic 
Church, — as she had after that event, when she 
was in a state of separation from all other parts of 
Christ's body.* The question, therefore, was still 
pressed. At which of these periods are we to ad- 
mit her divine authority to " teach " and direct us ? 
To dictate our faith and exact our submission? 

* Let me call attention to a few words more on this point, even at the risk 
of being thought importunate. For upon it depends the whole force of the 
argument. Why, then, does England claim to be heard as the Church ? Upon 
what does she rely as the source of her authority 7 What does she plead with 
the Puritan or Methodist as a reason why she should be listened to rather than 
other Christian bodies, as the teaching authority in that country 1 Is it her pre- 
eminent purity qf doctrine^ or superior holiness of life, or priority tm point qf 
age, or any tAm^ which had its origin in England 1 Certainly noL On the 
contrary U », according to her own principles, that she was made by Christ 
in Judea, the pillar and ground of the truth, received aiUhority from Am, as 
Head of the One, Catholic Church, as Head, not of the Church of England, but 
the Church of the tohole world ; authority to declare what is pure doctrine} an 
authority secured to her by the promise of Christ's perpetual presence, ac- 
cording to the principle of Dr. Hook, from the moment she received it to the 
end of the world, and hence an authority which could never change, never 
vary, but from its very nature must have been one and the same every day, 
and hour, and moment since it was bestowed. An authority, then, I repeat, 
which was certainly as good when held before the Reformation in conjunction 
with the whole Catholic Church of Christ, on which it was at first conferred, 
as after the Reformation, when in a state of separation from that body ; and 
hence an authority which had as good a right before the Reformation to pro- 
nounce its doctrines pure as after that event. So that its judgment before 
declaring it pure is as trustworthy at least as its Judgment qfUr declaring it 


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Are we to admit that authority when she taught 
that the Pope is supreme head of the Church ? or 
when she taught that the Icing is? When she 
taught seven sacraments in the Church t or when 
she taught that there are only two 1 When she 
held Transubstantiation, or when she pronounced 
it " repugnant to the plain words of Scripture ? " * 
When she held " the Sacrifice of the Mass for the 
living and the dead" as a blessed privilege; or 
when she cast it away as ^^ a blasphemous £ible ? " 
But my heart almost dies within me at the recol- 
lection of this dreadful change, and I forbear ; re- 
stricting my inquiries to the three centuries and 
more since it was brought about. And I ask, as I 
did, when this point was utider examination, at 
what period in these centuries may we rely for 
spiritual guidance upon the judgment of the An 
glican Communion ? 

Are we to rely upon that judgment, when in 
1634, by the voice of Parliament, she declared 
that the Bishop of Bome had no jurisdiction over 
the Church of England, and that the king wag 
rightfully her supreme head ? or when, in 1536^ 
by the voice of her Convocation at York, she de- 
clared : — " We think the King's Highness, ne any 
temporal man, may not be the head of the Church 
by the laws of God, to have or exercise any juris- 
diction or power spiritual in the same, and we think 

* The plain words of Scripture are, *< TTkw* is My Boagt — This is My 
Blood t ** The plain words of Scripture are, ** Except ye eat the JUsh of the 
■on of Han and drink Ms Blood, ye have no liTe m yoit/ ** 

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by the law of the Church, general councils, inter- 
pretations of approved doctors, and consent of 
Christian people, the Pope of Rome hath been 
taken for the head of the Church and Vicar of 
Christ, and so ought to be taken ? " — (Strype^s 
Mem.) Shall we rely upon her judgment as ex- 
pressed in the Articles of Doctrine of 15^7,* de- 
bated in Convocation, and approved and set forth 
bjr the king? Or as expressed in the forty-two 
'^Articles which were agreed to in the Synod of 
London in 1552, by the bishops and other godly 
and learned men, to root out discord of opinions, 
and establish the agreement of true religion ; *' f 
differing essentially from the former? Or as ex- 
pressed in the declaration unanimously adopted by 
both houses of Convocation, and signed by both the 
universities in the first year of Elizabeth, setting 
foJrth, in fine, distinct propositions ^* the Pope^s *Sm- 
premacy and the Sacrifice of the Mass 7 1 Or as 
expressed in the Acts of Parliament, (at the sitting 
of which not a single bishop was present,) which 
condemned the said declaration, suppressing the 
Mass and making the Queen the supreme head of 
the Church ? Or, again, as expressed in the 
Thirty-nine Articles, passed by Parliament, and set 
forth by the authority of the Queen in 1682, § de- 
signed to correct and abrogate her forty-two arti- 
cles of 1552, denouncing many of the doctrines 

* Palmer's »* Treatise on tlie Church," vol. f., p. 469. 

t Burnet, on that period. X See Heylin, p. lift. 

$ Heylin, Exam. Hist. 131. 

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therein contained as contrary to God's Word and 
dangerous to souls ? 

Or, to return once more to the sad history of 
her perpetual change, shall we rely on her judg- 
ment as authoritatively given through her convoca- 
tion, reviewed and sanctioned hy the king, (1537-8) 
in a book entitled the " Godly and Pious Discipline 
of a Christian Man," enjoining upon her sons and 
daughters, and instructing them how they are t6 
understand and hold, the doctrines of the seven 
sacraments * -^ purgatory — invocation of Saints, 
prayers for the dead, &c. ? Or shall we rely upon 
that judgment as given in her Jirst edition of the 
Book of Common Prayer, a book compiled by 
Cranmer and his associates, sanctioned by the 
King, Lords and Commons, and, to use their 
modest language, *^ concluded and set forth with 
the aid of the Holy Ghost ; " f hut a book enjoining 
the sacrament of Extreme Unction and prayers for 
the dead, 'oxgmg auricular confession, and pro- 
viding public offices for the first two, and a form 
of absolution for the third 1 Qx shall we rely upon 
that judgment as given in the next edition of the 
same book of Common Prayer, in which, by the 
same authority under the manifest influence of two 
famed foreigners, $ the offices for the dead and for 
administering Extreme Unction are discarded, the 
latter being pronounced "The corrupt following of 

* Matrimony, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, The Mass, Ordera and 
Extreme Unction, 
t See 3 and 3 Ed. VI., c i. t Bucer and Peter Martyr. 

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the Apostles."* Or finally^ shall we rely upon 
that judgment, as exhibited in the American edition 
of the same Book of Common Prayer, set forth by 
" the General Convention of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in the United States," and sanctioned 
by the Archbishops and Bishops of England, in 
which every trace of auricular confession is oblit- 
erated ; one article of the Apostles* Creed declared 
unimportant,f and the whole of the Athanasian 
Creed absolutely discarded 1 

Or, to conclude with an illustration from her 
living teachers, shall we rely upon her judgment, 
for example, on the great question of Baptismal 
regeneration, as expressed in her Office for the 
administration of Baptism and in the Nicene Creed, 
interpreted by her ablest Divines in a true Catholic 
^ense ; or, as interpreted by authority of the 
Queen, as having no sense, or what is tantamount, 
any sense, which a majority of her judges see fit to 
put upon it ? Or to pursue the point a step fur- 
ther, shall we rely on her judgment as expressed by 
the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, seconded 
by three thousand two hundred and sixty-twd of the 
English clergy, in the words, — " We humbly state 
our conviction that it was a wise and just sentence, 
(referring Jo that of the Queen's judges in the case 
of Gorham, &c.,) in accordance with the principles 
of the Church of England ? " Or as expressed in a 
strong and decided rejnonstrance against that judg- 

* See TUtrtif-nine JSrtideSf art. zzv. 

t Tbe ** Descent into Hell," the use of which is by the ntbric left optiontL 

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ment, signed by one thousand laymen and clergy- 
men together ? * 

Now it is to be remembered that 1 puty these 
questions to myself imder the influence of such 
convictions as come necessarily from the principles 
of the famed sermon of Dr. Hook, " Hear the 
Church ! " A principle, which, if it be worth any 
thing, is worth every thing to the anxious inquirer ; 
inasmuch as it secures to him, in the ever-living 
Church, an ever-living teacher and guide, being 
based on the promise, '*Lo! I am with you a(l 
days ! " A teacher and guide, which, being imder 
the constant enlightening and purifying presence 
of Christ, will not have need (to borrow the popu- 
lar simile of Dr. H.,) to " wash her face " in the 
broken cisterns of man's device, in order to see the 
truth; nor to continue washing it from year to 
year, and from generation to generation, with no 
certainty that she even yet sees or ever can see 
clearly and with "a single eye,"^ that doctrine 
which she verily continues to utter with a '< double 
tongue." t 

* I may be allowed to make a quotation here. « 

In the TiMst of March 20th, 1850, appeared the foUowmg ** Resolutions*' 
on the Gorham case, signed by the leaders of the Tractarian party : — 

" 1. That whatever at the present time be the force of the sentence de- 
livered in the case of Gorham v. the Bishop of Exeter, the Church of Eng- 
land will eventually be bound by the said sentence, unless it shall openly and 
expressly reject the erroneous doctrine sanctioned thereby. 

" % That by such conscious, wilful, and deliberate act, such portion of the 
Church becomes formally separated Jrom tk$ Catholic body^ and can no longer 
assure to its members the grace of the Sacraments, or the remission of sins." 

The above is signed by Messrs. Pusey, Mill, R. J. Wilberforce, Thorp, 
Keble, Bennet, Talbot, and Cavendish. All the other subscribers^ both lay 
and clerical, have acted on their words, and abjured Anglicanism. 

t See the Book of Common Prayer, and the Archbishop of Canterbury ia 
the case above 


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It was, therefore, with feelings of no ordinary 
disappointment, that under the command, ^* Hear 
the Church," I applied to the oracle of ^^the 
Church of England," and received only this con- 
fused and contradictory response. Under the cir- 
cumstances, who can wonder that I turned elsewhere 
that I might hear, if possible, the certain and well- 
defined voice of the ^^ Good Shepherd of the One 



Here, however, the strange plea was urged, viz. 
that from the introduction of Christianity into Eng- 
land, a spirit of resistance to the prevailing Catho 
lie faith, and the maintenance of a purer faith was 
manifest. That this pure faith struggled at first 
against the domination of Augustine ; and then 
broke out, like some subterranean fire, at diflFsrent 
periods up to the era of the Eeformation. The 
language of a popular writer in the American 
Church* is as follows: — "The British Church 
produced a noble array of divines from Dinoth of 
Bangor to Cranmer of Canterbury, who, frc^ *^''^'* 
to time, did all they could to resist the unc2 

* The Rev. Dr. Odenbeimar, *<0rigiji| &e.^of Common Pra 



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aad anti-Catholic usiirpation of her rights." * And 
then, in attempting to give names to establish his 
position, he repeats the name of Dinoth, and adds 
those of Daganus and Wycliflfe ! Now, this writer 
adopts the principle, "Hear the Church" asserted, 
with a good deal of ability, in what he calls " the 
admirable sermon of Dr. Hook ; " pronouncing, at 
the same time, that Church, which is ^*the pillar 
and ground of truth," to be Catholic, citing, in 
confirmation of his view, the following language 
jfrom Tertullian : '* So many and so great Churches 
are nothing else but that primitive one, firom which 
all the rest proceed. Thus they are all primitive 
and all apostolical, while they all agree in the same* 
truth, whilst there is among them a communion of 
peace, and an appellation of brotherhood, and a 
league of hospitality." 

The principle, therefore, by which I felt obliged 
to be governed — according to this admirable teach- 
ing — in judging of the above plea, is that " the 
Church," which is '*the pillar and ground of the 
truth," and which we are by Christ commanded to 
"hear," is "the One Catholic anct Apostolic 
Church,*^ teaching " the same truth," and cemented 
together by ^* a communion of peace.** Now to 
make out any reasonable claim for Dinoth, Daga- 
niw, and Wycliffe, against the other teaching au- 
thority in England, I conceived it would be neces- 
sary to show that these divines taught the same 

* To thli laat point, it will be peiceiyed, I recar in the sequeL 

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truth, and stood in the same ^* communion of peace/* 
as the ^^One Catholic and Apostolic Church,'^ and 
that the other teaching authority in England did 
not. But will any one, having the smallest regard 
to his reputation for knowledge, even pretend to 
this ? For is it not a notorious and indisputable 
fact, that when Augustine came into England, he 
was sent by an authority, (whatever may be said 
about its imiversal jurisdiction, which we shall con- 
sider presently,) which was in communion with 
** the One Catholic Chuitjh," and that he brought 
with him the Faith, which was then professed and 
acted upon, (if some half dozen men in that island 
must be excepted) throughout, at least, all the rest 
of that " One Catholic Church ! " And that it con- 
tinued to be the Faith professed and acted upon 
throughout Christendom, (England included,) up 
to the period of the Eeformation ? Now to me, as 
a Protestant, it was a very awkward question — 
how Dinothy and Daganusy and Wycliffe, and any 
body else who may be supposed to have acted with 
them — could be regarded by any good Anglican, 
as the true, living, *^ teaching " authority in Eng- 
land, to which, on pain of being treated as '* hea- 
thens and publicans," all her sons and daughters 
were compelled to listen, in opposition to the Cath- 
olic authority, which alone taught, or could, by any 
possibility, be " heard " for eight himdred years 
and more. I say for eight hundred years and 
more, because, during that period, the Protestant 
authority of England declares it to be the fact. 

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The words are : " Laity and clergy, learned and 
unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, 
women, and children of the whole of Christen- 
dom, had been at once drowned in abominable idol- 
atry ; and that for the space of eight hundred years 
and more^ — (Homily against the Peril of Idolc*' 
try,) Now, 1 entreat my old friends, and especially 
my friend who wrote the book upon which 1 have 
felt bound to animadvert, seriously to consider — 
where, for that long period, the poor sinner was to 
go to *^ hear the Church ? *' And more than all, 
what became of the promise of Jesus Christ to be 
with His Church, " teaching all things whatsoever 
HE commanded her always (all days) to the end of 
the world 1 " For^ remember, a dead Church does 
not spealc. And ^' Faith cometh by hearing,^^ and 
sinners are to ^^hear the Church, ^^ — not to get 
their faith from themselves, by reading books, nor 
to dive into the broad deep sea of centuries long 
passed, and fish up from mouldy records their faith 
piecemeal — but to listen to the "pastors and 
teachers, given for the edification of the Church, 
till we all come to unity in the Faith ; " to " sub- 
mit to those who are commissioned to watch for 
our souls, and to follow their Faith.** Besides, 
Christ's presence is promised to living, speaJcing 
pastors, and not to old dumh booJcs, however full 
of wisdom they may be. My old friends must ex- 
cuse me, therefore, for repeating my request that 
they will meditate seriously upon this truth, as I 
was constrained to do at the time of my great trial 

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Besides, the question then impressed itself upon 
me, suppose that the voice of Dinoth and Daganus 
could be heard, at least, in some faint echoes through 
those eight long centuries, till it reached the voice 
of Wycliffe ; are Protestant episcopahans prepared 
to bow to its teaching ? * to submit to the doctrine 
of the Mass and other Catholic doctrines, then and 
there, by the admission of Protestants, distinctly 
taught ?t And, finally, suppose Dino^A and Wyc- 
liffe could have lived in the same period, what kind 
of union would have subsisted between them? 
Admit, for a moment, that Dinoth ^ on two or three 
points of discipline, dissented at Jirst from Augus- 
tine, is there one single point of faith that now 
separates Catholics from Protestants, on which it 
can be shown, he would have agreed with Wycliffe 1 

"Who can doubt, then, that the Catholic Church 
was the only living, teaching authority in England, 
for eight hundred years, at least, prior to the 
Heformation ? — the only authority to which the 
inquiring sinner could go to learn the way of eter- 
nal life ? 

* Bede's Eccl. Hist nbique. 

t Soame^s Bampton Lee. Appen, Besides, is it not perfectly clear, from the 
fact that no matter in dispute between Augustine and the Britons had respect 
to doctrine^ that in this there was a perfect agreement, and hence that they 
held when Augustine arrived in England all the Catholic dogmas ? The only 
three points, as sUted by the Venerable Bede, (See Bede>s HisL^ 1. ii. c. 3, 3,4, 
where the interview between Augustine and the ecclesiastics of Britain is 
fully described,) upon which they could not agree were the following : ^ 
1. Upon the time of keeping Easter ; 2. Upon the ceremony of baptism ; 
3. Upon union in preaching to tho Saxons. And although during the life of 
Augustine these differences were not adjusted, yet in the following century 
personal animosity having died out, harmony seems to have been restored. 






Mr. Palmer, in his " Treatise on the Church," 
pledges himself to ^' prove that the Catholic and 
primitive doctrine and authority of the Church of 
Christ, as opposed to modern abuses, and the 
license of an unhridled private judgment, were the 
principles of the English reformation,^^ — Vol, i. 
p. 493. The first importaot testimony which he 
adduces in support of his position, is from '* the 
necessary doctrine and erudition of a Christian 
man ; " '^ agreed upon " (I use his own language) 
" by the whole Church of England, in 1543," and 
is as follows:, — "All things which were taught 
by the Apostles, and have been by a whole imi- 
versal consent of the Church of Christ, ever since 
that time taught continually, and taken always foi 
true, ought to be received, accepted, and kept as a 
perfect doctrine Apostolic^ To show that the 
Eeformation in 1571 was still conducted on the 
same principle, or, to use his own words, that " the 
authority of Catholic tradition was still solemnly 
recognized," he cites the canon of that time : — 
*^ Let preachers, above all things, be careful that 
they never teach aught in a sermon, except that 
which is agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and 
New Testament, and which the Catholic fathers 

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and ancient bishops have collected from ttat very 
doctrine," adding, " Thus the authority of Catholic 
tradition was recognized by the Church of Eng- 
land, and by all our learned theologians." — Vol, i. 
p. 498. In respect to the authority of the Church 
as opposed to private judgment, he adduces Arti- 
cle XX., of 1562, as follows : — " The Church 
hath power to decree rites and ceremonies, and au- 
thority in controversies of Faith." At the same 
time enforcing the principle by a passage from 
Article XXXIV. " Whosoever, through private 
Judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly 
Dreak the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, 
which be not repugnant to the word of God, and 
be ordained and approved by common authority, 
ought to be rebuked, &c.," adding the words, 
" The Church herself, of course, being the judge 
of this repugnance." — lb. p. 600. 

In carefully weighing this language, which, un- 
der Protestant training, I had hitherto considered 
as tenable, I perceived that it committed me and 
all who held it, to four distinct propositions, viz. : — 
1. That there is in the Church of Christ " an au- 
thority of tradition," that is, an authority inde- 
pendent of the written word of God, and given to 
interpret that word to mankind, which has always 
existed in the Church in virtue of Christ's promise, 
and is to be known by the uniform testimony of 
the Church herself, speaking in the person of her 
successive teachers. 2. That this authority is the 
authority of the universal Church, taken as final 

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arbiter in all matters of faith and discipline^ in con 
tradistinction to any part of her, however respect- 
able in point either of wisdom or national impor- 
tance. 3. That while this universal Church has 
"authority in controversies of feith," that is, to 
determine at any time what is the unchangeable 
Faith, she has also authority, in order to meet the 
peculiar exigencies of an era, or to increase her 
means of devotion, **to. decree rites and ceremo- 
nies." And that when these are once decreed, 
neither individual nor nations have a right to 
" break " them, in defiance of the authority by 
which they were imposed. 4. That the whole 
Church of England, in the year 1543, (about the 
tenth year of the Eeformation) regarded and ac- 
tually set forth by her highest authority, the doc- 
trine contained in the book entitled ** A Necessary 
Doctrine and Erudition of a Christian man," as 
that which ought to be received, accepted, and 
kept as a perfect doctrine Apostolic; because it 
had been " taught by the Apostles, and continually, 
ever since that time, by a whole universal consent 
of the Church of Christ." 

My mind was led first to examine this last prop- 
osition ; to ascertain what '* the whole Church of 
England,"* after ten years' growth, felt herself 

* Here there is an effectual answer to the plea, that what tlie Chnrch of 
England said at this date, was said under the pressure qf the state, and hence 
was not ker real jadgmenU But, in the first place, if this were so, what secu- 
rity have we that she has not always spoken under the same pressure, and 
does not speak under ttiat pressure now 1 She is now bound by the acts of 
Elizabeth, and who does not know that they are even more stringent than tho 
acts of Henry i But unfortunately for this plea, Mr. Palmer insists that thii 

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bound to believe and to do, on the principle of re- 
forming herself after the pattern of '* Catholic and 
primitive doctrine." And here the task was com- 
paratively easy. The table of contents of the 
" Necessary Doctrine, &c.," at once placed under 
my eye the results of her examination and judg- 
ment. Among other things I found, she then 
gathered from the ever-abiding treasures of the 
**One Catholic and Apostolic Church," ''Seven 
holy Sacraments, as now enumerated by Catholics, 
viz.. Matrimony, Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, 
Holy Eucharist, (or the Mass,) Orders, and Extreme 
Unction. Also, the Salutation of the Angels, called 
Ave Maria, and prayers for souls departed." Here, 
then, I saw that the mature judgment of '' the 
whole Church of England," (with the king and 
Cranmer at the head,) professedly governed by 
Catholic antiquity, gave her first verdict in favor 
of a large part of the dogmatic truth held in Eng- 
land before the reformation. Hence it became to 
my mind a serious question, what influence subse- 
quently operated upon the judgment of England, 
still expressed by the same men and the same au- 
thority, to set that judgment against '/ the sacrifice 
of the Mass as a blasphemous fable ? " against five 

judgment in 1543, in favor of thd seven, sacraments, 4"c., as contained in " tft« 
JV'eeessary Doctrine,*^ ^c, was given by «* the whole Church ofEngUmd." This 
emphatic language, if it means any thing, must mean, that, after free and 
mature thought, the Church of England adopted the principle of reformatioii 
by " the authority of Catholic tradition,''^ and hence set forth, as the results of 
her calm and honest judgment under this principle, the doctrine of the seoem 
meramentt, invocation of saints, fcc, ill " the Necessary DoctriM Md £ro- 
dition of a Christian man i '* 

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of the seven sacraments as " a corrupt following 
of the Apostles ? " and against invocation of saints 
as anti-scriptural? If, in 1543, these things 
seemed to her trucy according to that " authority 
of tradition " by which she professed to be guided, 
by what mysterious process are they so soon made 
to appear to her false 1 Be this as it may, the re- 
sult showed clearly to my mind two things. 1. 
That she had both changed her ground of judg- 
ment, and also, 2, proved herself an incompetent 
judge. The latter had already appeared to me too 
manifest, as stated above. While the plea that is 
sometimes urged, that new light, as she advanced, 
gradually broke upon her path, revealing a higher 
and better way, not only furnished a new proof of 
her sad instability, and hence total insufficiency as 
a guide ; but also left some ground to hope* that in 
this her random pursuit of truth, she might yet be 
so happy as to find her way back to a certain and 
imchanging feiith. 

In regard to the first, that she had actually changed 
her ground of judgment, or abandoned what Mr. 
Palmer calls " the authority of Catholic tradition," 
was to my mind clear from the following consider- 
ations. In the first place, where an '* authority " is, 
in any real practical sense, admitted, it is submitted 
to. And submitted to, not because it is to us 
reasonable in its demands, but because it has an 
absolute and independent right to govern us. So 
that when we say we admit " the authority of tra- 
dition," we mean (as it seemed to me) if we mean 

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any thing, that it has, independent of our own sense 
of its reasonableness, an absolute right to define 
our faith, and fashion our obedience. Otherwise, 
we may as well claim to admit the authority of the 
traditions of the mosque, as those of the Christian 
Church. For if at liberty to select, we may derive 
confirmation of some truth from, every system. 

Again, "the authority of Catholic tradition," 
that is submitted to, must, from the nature of the 
case, be accepted, because it affords a security be- 
yond any thing which we could derive from our own 
minds, or the minds of other men, beyond any 
thing, indeed, which the human powers, under the 
most favorable circumstances, could possibly furnish. 
Otherwise, there would be no reason why we should 
give more weight to ** tradition " — to something 
handed down to us from a remote age — than to 
something furnished by the present age. To justify 
us, therefore, in giving to *' tradition " any real 
" authority " in settling questions of faith or disci- 
pline, two things seem to be necessary. 1. That 
such tradition should have its origin in the revela- 
tion of God, and be to us the vehicle of Divine 
communications. And 2. That the channel of its 
transmission should be liable to no failure either 
from human fraud or infirmity, and hence must 
have the security of a Divine guardianship. Be- 
cause Christ's religion is not the result of a mental 
process — not a thing wrought out or perfected in 
the laboratory of human reason — but a mysteri- 
ous, superhuman fact, a thing brought down as a 

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gift from heaven to earth, and handed on through 
the successive generations of earth by the power 
of heaven. Hence, I say " tradition " springs from 
God, and has ever the protection of God, it being 
God's first communication to man after His redemp- 
tion, and designed by its perpetual light to make 
all other communications distinct and certain. 

Soon after His resurrection our blessed Lord re- 
tired with His disciples, and " for forty days in- 
structed them in the things pertaining to His king- 
dom." Here is the foimdation of that tradition, 
which was intrusted to the Church for her guidance * 
in the faith. But it is not completed, though thus 
imparted by the great Prophet Himself. The disci- 
ples were commanded to wait in Jerusalem till they 
were endued with the power of that Divine Spirit 
which was to " lead the Church into all truth." 
On the glorious day of Pentecost He descended in 
all His fulness upon her, and Christ, her faithful 
Head, began the fulfilment of His gracious promise 
to be *^ with her to the end of v the world." Thus, 
when He ascended up on high, " He led captivity 
captive, and gave gifts unto men. And He g^ve 
some Apostles, and some prophets, and some pastors 
and teachers, for the perfecting of the Saints, for- 
the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the 
body of Christ, till we all meet in the unity of the 
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, 
unto a perfect man, imto the measure of the age 
of the fulness of Christ." Hire we have an ac- 
count, by God's own hand, of the beginning of 

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that dispensation of mercy and love to mankind, 
through the operation of the Holy Ghost, which. 
He assures us, is to be carried on to its final con- 
summation, under the same operation, by means of 
His divinely ordered, and divinely sustained, priest- 
hood. This priesthood, in the persons of the Apos- 
tles and those whom they associate with them, goes 
forth into all the world, to do the bidding of their 
Lord. In the light of His abiding presence, and 
under the power of the Holy Ghost, the Gospel is 
preached — the Church established — fundamental 
faith imbodied in '* a form of sound words " — 
converts orally trained in it, and the sacraments 
gradually brought to their view as occasion required. 
Thus the mystical body of Christ, well ordered 
and well furnished with all her divine functions 
and all her divine " treasures of wisdom and knowl- 
edge," presents herself to the nations as an all- 
sufficient guide to eternal life, long before the New 
Testament had its being. Will any one pretend to 
say that the Christians who lived and ^iied under 
this simple and oral teaching of the priesthood, 
were not as well furnished for their entrance into 
the Paradise of God, as they who trust solely to the 
Bible at the present day? But those Christians 
lived and died under the " authority of Catholic 
tradition." And that same, tradition, with that 
same authority, has ever remained in the Church, 
an infallible teacher and interpreter to the present 
hour. So that St. Irenseus could ask, " What if 
the Apostles had not left us writings; would it 

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not have been needful to follow the order of that 
TRADITION which they delivered to those to whom 
they committed the Churches ? " And to illustrate 
the benefits of this tradition by an example, he 
adds : - ** An ordinance to which many of the bar- 
barous nations who beUeve in Christ assent, having 
salvation written without pen and ink by the Spirit 
in their hearts, sedulously guarding the old tradi- 
tion." — Adv. Hares. I. iii. 

And that champion of the truth, St. Athanasius, 
could say, referring to the Arians : " It is enough 
to give this only answer to such things, and to say, 
these things are not of the CathoHc Church. 
Neither did the Fathers think thus." — (Oux oa* 
TavTa Tijff xadohxT^ig ixxXealag^ ovde raura o* Ttatigeg 
i(pgoyTj(Tay,) — Ep. ad. Epict. 

This tradition, it was, to which the blessed Paul 
refers, when exhorting his son in the faith, " Keep 
that which is committed to thy trust." — ^^ Hold 
fast the form of sound words, which thou hast 
heard of me in faith and love which is in Christ 
Jesus." To which he refers also, when, guarding 
the Thessalonians against false teachers, he exhorts, 
" Let no man deceive you by any means. Stand 
fast, and hold the traditions which ye have learned, 
whether by word, or by our Epistle." 

It was this tradition to which the Fathers bowed 
with such uniform and profound reverence. It 
was this to which the holy bishop of Hieropolis,* 

* PapiM. 

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" the hearer of St John and the friend of St. Poly- 
carp," refers, when he says, ** If any one came to 
me who had accompanied the elders, I questioned 
him concerning their words, what Andrew and 
Peter said. For I did not think that what is in 
the books would aid me as much as what came 
from the living and abiding voice." — Ap. Euseb, 
1. iii. c. 39. 

It was this to which St. Ireneeus refers, when he 
says of the heretics : ** We challenge them to that 
tradition which is from the Apostles, which is pre- 
served in the Churches through the succession of 
presbyters." (Quum autem ad eam iterum tra- 
ditionem, quae est ab apostolis, quae per successiones 
presbyterorum in ecclesiis custoditur, provocamus 
eos.) — Adv. H(Bres. 1. iii. c. 2. 

And St. Clement, when he says : " Wherefore 
the Lord has not forbidden us to rest from good, 
but has permitted us to impart the divine mysteries 
and that secret light, to those who are able to re- 
ceive them. But He did not immediately reveal 
to many^ those things which were not for many, but 
to a few, to whom He knew them to be suited, 
who were capable both of receiving them, and of 
being conformed to them. Secret things, like 
God, are intrusted, not to writihgy but to oral 
teaching" (^oyo nKnevBTui^ e yq&fifiaTi.) — Strotn, 

And Tertullian, who says : *' If no Scripture has 
determined this (observance) assuredly custom has 
confirmed it, which doubtless has been derived from 

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tradition ; for how can a thing be used, unless it 
be first handed down to us ? Let us inquire, 
then, whether even tradition, even though not 
committed to writing, ought not to be received." 
(Quseramus an et traditio nisi scripta non debeat 
recipi.) — De Corona, 

And Origen : " We are not to credit these men, 
nor go out from the first and the ecclesiastical tra- 
dition ; nor to believe otherwise than as the 
Churches of Grod have by succession transmitted 
to us."— r. iii. Com. in St. Matt. 

And St. Athanasius, speaking of the Arians: 
** This has been their device and cunning, and they 
had even this deadly purpose to seek to drive from 
their chairs those who hold to that teaching of the 
Catholic Church which has been handed down to 
them from the Fathers." — Apol. con. Arian. U. 3. 

And St Ephreem: "Be firmly persuaded of 
this, not as an opinion, but as a truth, that what- 
soever has been transmitted, whether in writing 
only, or by word of mouth, is directed to this end, 
that we may hove life, and may have it more abun- 
dantly."— T. iii. Ser. lix. 

And St. Gregory of Nyssa: "It sufficeth for a 
demonstration of our words that we have a tradi- 
tion that comes down to us from the fathers, like 
an inheritance transmitted by succession from the 
apostles through the holy men that have come 
after them." (oIpop nva xiUj^ov dl CLXoXovdiag ix rwv 
Anoatdhiiv dtd xoty ig>Birjg ayuav naQanefKpdivTa,') x. U. 

L iv. Con. Eunom. 

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^ St. Gregory of Nazianzum says : ** May we to 
the last of life, confess with great confidence, that 
excellent deposit (ti^v xaliip nagaKaiadrjxrjv,) of the 
holy Fathers who were nearest to Christ and the 
primitive faith." — T. i. Orat. 6. 

And St. Basil : " Tell me, this pious traditioii of 
the Fathers, and as you yourself have termed it, 
this rule and safe criterion, is it now on the con- 
trary proclaimed to be an instrument of deceit ? " — 
Adv, Eunom. 1. i. Again : " Let tradition shame 
thee from sepai'ating the Holy Ghost from Father 
and Son. Thus did the Lord teach. Apostles 
preach, fathers preserve, and martyrs confirm. Let 
it suffice thee to speak as thou hast been taught, 
and let me not hear these sophisms." — T. ii. Horn, 
con. Sab. And once more : " Of the dogmas and 
teachings preserved in the Church, we have some 
from the doctrine committed to writing, and some 
we have received transmitted to us in a secret man- 
ner (iv fivaxr}Qi(a) from the traditions of the Apos- 
tles j both these have the same force in forming 
sound doctrine, (aneg aficporsga T^y avr^v ia/i)y ^x^$ 
nqbg Ti\v eid(Te^eiap) and no one will gainsay 
either of these ; no one, that is, that has the least 
experience of the ecclesiastical laws. For should 
we attempt to reject, as not having any great au- 
thority, (J{>yafnv) those customs that are unwrit- 
ten, (rd aYQaq)a ruv e6(ov^) we should be betrayed 
into injuring the Gospel even in primary matters, 
or rather, in circumscribing the Gospel into a mere 
name." — T. iii. De S, Sane. c. xxvii. 


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And St Siricius, who says : *' In the Council of 
Nicsea, the Holy Ghost favoring, at the same time 
that the possession of faith was juridically confirmed, 
it was the desire of the bishops there assembled, 
that the apostolic traditions (apostolicas traditiones) 
should come to the knowledge of all men." — Ep. 
V. ad Episcop. Divers, 

St. Epiphanius says : '^ It is also necessary to use 
tradition ; for all things cannot be derived from the 
divine Scripture ; because the holy Apostles trans- 
mitted some things indeed in writings and some in 
tradition." (^<6 rd fitv ev yqa(palg tA dh bv nagu' 
Sdaet TtaQsdaixav ol *aYiot UTUxnolot,^ T, L adv, 

St. Jerome says distinctly : *' Even though the 
authority of Scripture were not at hand, the agree- 
ment of the whole world in this matter would pre- 
vail as a command. For many other things sdso, 
that by tradition are observed in the Churches, 
have gained for themselves the authority of a writ- 
ten law." — (Nam et multa alia quae per traditionem 
in ecclesiis observantur, auctoritatem sibi scriptae 
legis usurpaverunt.) — T. ii. adv, Lucifer. 

And St. Chrysostom when he says, commefiting 
on 1 Cor. xi. ^, (^That in all things ye are mindful 
of me, and keep the ordinances as I delivered them 
to you,) " Whence it follows that he (St. Paul) de- 
livered them many things also without writing, as 
he shows elsewhere in many places ; but now also 
he lays down the cause. . .' If any men seem to be 
contentious, we have no such custom, nor the 

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Churches of God.' " And again^ commenting on 
2 Thess. ii. 14, (Therefore brethren, stand fast, 
and hold the traditions which ye have learned, 
whether by word or by our epistle ;) " Hence it is 
plain that they did not deliver all things by epistle, 
but many things also without uniting, and in like 
manner both those and these things are worthy of 
credit. Wherefore let us reckon the tradition of 
the Church worthy of credit. It is a tradition ; 
seek nothing further.^* (nagddoaig k(ni>, (iridiv nUov 
^iJTf*.) T. xi. Hom. 4. 

And finally St. Augustine, when he says : " But 
those things which we observe, not because written, 
but transmitted, (quae non scripta, sed tradita 
custodimus), things which are indeed observed 
throughout the whole world, it is to be understood, 
that they are to be retained as commanded and 
decreed, either by the Apostles themselves, or by 
general councils, the authority of which is most 

wholesome in the Church. ^ The custom of our 

mother Church in baptizing infants is by no means 
to be despised, nor to be deemed in any way super- 
fluous, nor to be believed at all, were it not an 
Apostolic tradition, (nee omnino credenda liisi 

Apostolica esset traditio) It is not to be 

doubted that the dead are aided by the prayers of 
the holy Church, and by the salutary sacrifice, and 
by the alms which are offered for their spirits ; that 
the Lord may deal with them more mercifully than 
their sins have deserved. For this, which has been 
handed down by the Fathers, the universal Church 

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observes." (Hoc enim a patribus traditmn, uni- 
versa observat ecclesia,) T. v. serm. clxxii. 

It is this tradition which made the faith plain to 
the iinlettered, and fenced it round, and protected 
it against the inroads of private judgment and royal 
dictation ; which supplied saving knowledge in the 
absence of the Holy Scriptures and of the qualifica- 
tions to read them, and vindicated the providence 
of Almighty God for delaying what seemed to be 
an essential means* for their general distribution 
till fourteen long centuries had passed away. Now 
it is this tradition to which, I could not doubt, the 
Anglicans referred, when they first spoke of being 
governed in their reformation by " the authority of 
Catholic tradition." But (as it was equally clear 
to me) finding that " the authority " of such tradi- 
tion would not only rebuke them for what they had 
abeady done, but, forcing them to return upon their 
knees to the chair of St. Peter, would compel them 
to sacrifice all private or national aims on the altar 
of Catholic unity, and offer a life of penitence in 
satisfaction for their attempted schism, they at once 
broke away from that ^* authority," and in total dis- 
regard of the past, resolved to allow nothing to con- 
trol their own will or action for the future. And 
this they did, in face of their own authoritative 
declaration, that "whosoever, through his private 
judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly 
break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, 
which be not repugnant to the word of God (the 

* The art of Printing. 

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Church of course being judge of this repugnance), 
and which be ordained and approved by common 
authority, ought openly to be rebuked," &c. I say 
in the face of this declaration. For it seemed to 
me, with the views L had always entertained as a 
churchman, that it could not, with any show of rea- 
son, be pretended that "the traditions and ceremo- 
nies" found in the Catholic Church of England 
before or at the Beformation, were not estabUshed 
there by that Church (it being the only Church in 
existence), which had " power to decree rites and 
ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith," 
and could not be pretended that such rites and cer- 
emonies were not " ordained and approved by com- 
mon authority,** consistent, in the judgment of the 
Church, with the word of God. And therefore it 
could not be pleaded, that the persons " breaking " 
them, however many or high in political station, 
"ought not to be publicly rebuked." 

I was told, it is true, that this view of tradition 
made little account of God's Word. But the an- 
swer which satisfied my own mind was, that " tra- 
dition," in the Catholic sense, is a jpart of God's 
Word, the unwritten part, given before the written 
part, as the lex non scripta, or common law, ante- 
dates the lex scripta, or statute law, — neither dero- 
gating from its authority nor weakening its obliga- 
tion.* Besides, what seemed to me to be the great 

* Referring to the value of tradition, Perrone draws the following illustra- 
tion from Cicero : " Pater ex eo quod omnia bene instituta republica, ut ait 
TuUius, non tam lege acnpta, quam non scripta, traditione nempe et conaue 

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concern of the Christian, was, to honor God, by 
due submission to all that He has revealed. And 
finally, the thought struck me, that there might 
perhaps be more danger in believing too little than 
too much. At any rate, that persons, who call 
parts of the Bible *^ non-essential," and treat other 
parts as " a dead letter," (for example, St. James 
V. 14, 16.) should not be forward in charging the 
holders of tradition with want of reverence for holy 



It had often been asked, by way of objection to 
Catholicism, — " Why, if certain matters of faith 
and order are as important as Catholics consider 
them, is so little said of them in the Bible ? " But 
to my mind, the question was sufficiently answered 
in the fact already brought to view, that the Church 
was established, and the revelation of God made to 
it, many years before the New Testament was writ- 
ten, and that that prior revelation was not made 
void by the appearance of the latter. And here I 
shall be excused for introducing a passage from a 

tudine gubemetur; eo magis quod lex utut perspicue exposta fuerit, in varioa 
sensus facile trahitdr, nee nisi consuetudine tradiUoneque, tamquam viva 
ac loquente voce, recta ac legitima mut« per se ac veluti morttue Scriptura 
inteipretatio in republica constat ac conservator." 

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manuscript sermon^ prepared for an ordination^ and^ 
as will be recollected by some of my old friends, 
preached by myself, at the period to which I al- 
lude. ^^ Take the question. What do the Scriptures 
teach in respect to carrying out the fundamental 
faith? Or what precise instrumentality do they 
institute to apply this faith to the souls and bodies 
of men ? You will say, ^ The Church, with her 
ministry, and sacraments, and ordinances.' So &x 
well. For ' the Church of the living God is the 
pillar and ground of the truth.' And ^by the 
Church is the manifold wisdom of God to be made 
known.' While we are to ^ continue in the Apos- 
tles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of 
bread and of prayers.' " But what is the precise 
constitution of the Church ? What the orders of 
her priesthood ? The number and force of her sac- 
raments and ordinances ? Now there is good rea- 
son why the New Testament should be less definite 
and frdl on these points than their importance in 
this age would seem to demand. The Church, at 
the time when the New Testament was written, 
stood already (as she had long stood) before the 
world, with her ministry and sacraments, and the 
like, and stood there in perfect external unity, as 
feshioned and arranged by the hand of God .Him- 
self. When, therefore, the New Testament was 
given her by the same hand, is it at all wonderful 
that little should be fo\md in it in regard to the 
peculiar fashion and arrangements of that Church, 
which actually stood before the world, bearing the 

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divine impress and under the divine inspiration^ to 
speak for herself? 

A father dies and is foiind to have willed to his 
children and children's children, his house and fur- 
niture, and servants,* on condition that they hand' 
them down (the servants of course in their descend- 
ants,) from generation to generation without essen- 
tial alteration. Should we expect to find in that 
will (on the principle of any known law or prac- 
tice) how the house was built? How the furni- 
ture and servants were arranged? And how, in 
minute detail, they had been governed? Should 
we, in truth, expect to find in it more than such 
general descriptions as would sufficiently identify 

the whole ? Our Blessed Lord dies and leaves 

to His people, by will (for that, eo nomine, is the 
written Gospel,) the blessings of His Church, in 
her ministry, and sacraments, and ordinances ; on 
condition that they use them faithfully and trans- 
mit them imimpaired and unchanged to all future 
generations. Ought we to expect, on any reason- 
able ground, this will to tell minutely how the 
church was constructed ? What was the particular 
order of the ministry, and the number of the sacra- 
ments ? And how they and all things else in the 
Churqh were arranged ; when all, made afber the 
divine pattern, and animated by the divine spirit, was 
before the faithful to answer promptly to their own 
eyes and ears every inquiry prompted by their obe- 
dient hearts ? 

* Written for a slave State. 

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Here, then, we see why many things, the begin- 
ning of which is not noticed, and mere glimpses of 
which appear, in the New Testament, hold a prom- 
inent place in the early history of the Apostolic 
Church. They had their . origin in this ordl reve- 
lation, and were inculcated upon Christians in their 
very existence, when afterwards the written revela- 
tion, containing the mere outlines of faith and prac- 
tice, made its appearance. Hence the observance 
of the first day of the week, called Sunday, in place 
of the seventh day, called the Sabbath, found in tra^ 
dition sufficient authority, although the New Tes- 
tament gave no direction for the change. Hence 
the baptism of infants, as St. Augustine ss^jgrs, could 
" not be believed at all were it not an Apostolic 
tradition ; " yet because it was an Apostolic tradi- 
tion, it was received with as much readiness of faith 
as if it had been exphcitly commanded in the New 
Testament, although in that blessed book it is not 
so much as named. The same, as St. Augustine 
further remarks, must be said in regard to "prayers, 
and sacrifices, and alms for the dead," with invoca- 
tion of Saints, and many other doctrines flowing 
directly from that deep well of Christian truth — 
the divine mystery of the Incarnation. 

Another fact was urged against the present Cath- 
olic teaching, viz., that immediately subsequent to 
the Apostles' day, no traces, or at least very faint 
ones, of certain points in this teaching are discover- 
able in the doctrines and practices of the Church. 
This fact I could not but admit ; but found in the 

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1S2 THK ABOVb view of tradition a NECES8ABT 

doctrine of tradition its perfect solution. The 
" depositum " of truth intrusted to the Church, in 
the person of the eleven disciples, by Him whose 
sayings and doings swelled so far beyond the writ- 
ten Gt^pels,* was not, as the Fathers testify,! at 
first fully unfolded to the gaze of the unregenerate 
world, nor even to the babes in Christ, except as 
they were gradually made able to comprehend and 
appreciate it. The reason may be found in the 
injunction of our Lord *^ not to cast pearls before 
swine," and in that of St. Paul, that ^^ babes in 
Christ must, be fed with milk, and not with meat, 
till they are able to bear it.'* Hence I saw why 
many things, although fully revealed to the Church, 
and of the highest importance in themselves, seem 
now to have held a very subordinate place in the 
public teaching of the first fathers, particularly as 
their secret instructions, from the very circum- 
stances which often led to their secrecy, never 
transpired. Hence says St. Ambrose to the cate- 
chumens : *^ You are summoned to the mysteries, 
though ignorant what they are, you learn when 
you come." — T. i. De Elia, fyc. 

Besides, I recollected that for three full centu- 
ries ^ter the birth of Christianity, it was driven by 
the sword of persecution, for the most part, from 
the &ce of society into the dens and caves of the 
earth. That its records were destroyed, its creeds 
preserved only in the memory, its liturgies trans- 

* St. John xxi. 25. ' 

\ See Fiaith qf Catholics, Discip. of the Secret., voL ii. p. 158-178L 

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mitted from mouth to mouth, and that the chief 
monuments which remained to it were the blood 
and the ashes of its martyrs. Hence I could only 
see the wonder-working power of God in the pres- 
ervation of the feith at all, and of such certain 
proofs of its safe transmission as actually exist. 
But these proofs I found to be of a character so 
impretending in themselves, and so concealed from 
the eye of the world, and indeed from every eye 
but that of faith alone, as to beget in me no won- 
der that they should be so little known or under- 
stood even at this late period. I could not but 
think, however, that if men generally would duly 
reflect upon the necessary connection between the 
age of persecution and that which immediately fol- 
lowed, and would open their eyes to the sudden 
development into full life and vigor of every part 
of the Catholic system so soon as the almpst stifling 
weight of adverse power was removed, they would 
hardly be disposed to complain of any lack of evi- 
dence in favor of the primitive and Apostolic char- 
acter of every portion of Catholic truth. 

Another circumstance, too, connected with ** tra- 
dition," helped to divest my mind of prejudice. 
One of the favorite objections to Catholicism pleaded 
in excuse for the introduction of Protestantism, had 
been with me, that which charged the Catholic 
Church with having, from time to time, ingrafted 
new errors upon old truths. But on getting a clear 
insight into the nature of ApostoHc tradition ; on 
finding that it consisted in a " depositum " of truth 

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with the Church, to be brought out, and applied as 
exigence or need might demand, I could no longer 
rest upon an objection so imaginary. Indeed, I 
saw clearly that, on this principle of tradition alone 
could the Church of England defend many points , 
of her fundamental faith, as embraced in "the 
Faith once (for all) delivered to the Saints." That 
on this principle alone could she, for example, 
maintain "the descent into hell," and "the com- 
munion of saints," in the "Apostles' Creed," and 
the " Consubstantialem Patri," and the "filioque" 
of the Nicene, with all the kindred articles in the 
Athanasian ; as having been transmitted from the 
Apostles inasmuch as they are not found among 
the enjoined Articles of Faith till the fourth and 
fifth centuries. In truth I discovered, what upon 
reflection seemed so reasonable, that a large portion 
of the fundamental faith of the Church was not dis- 
tinctly enjbined in her written formularies till it 
was denied, nor its necessary adjuncts and de- 
fences marshalled around it till it was assailed ! * 

* Hence St Augustine saya : " The dogma of the TVinity was not perfectly 
brought out till the Arians declaimed against it ; nor was penanUy until 
attacked by the Novatians ; nor the efficacy of baptismy till questioned by re- 
baptizers. Nay, what regarded the unity of the body of Jesus Christ was not 
discussed with minute exactness until the weak, being exposed to danger. . . 
compelled the teachers of truth to examine these truths to the bottom . . .Thus 
the errors of heresy, instead of injuring the Catholic Church, have really for- 
tified it : and those who thought wrong were an occasion of ascertaining 
those who thought right fVhat had been but piously believed^ became after- 
wards fiiUy understood," 

This reminds me of an error which, in the course of my examination, 
showed :tself continually in Protestant statements, viz., to date the com- 
meneement of a doctrine or practice at the time, when from some denial or 
neglect such doctrine or practice was made binding by an ei^Ucit loritten d»- 
«ree, although it had always existed m the Church, 

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But to return to the Church of England at the 
Reformation. I perceived that while it had de- 
parted so widely from " the authority of Catholic 
tradition," in consenting to the change, it, as a 
Church, had really" little to do in bringing that 
change about. 

It is true, as I was well aware, that among Prot- 
estants the notion prevails that for some time prior 
to the Reformation, the power of the Roman Pon- 
tiff and the corruptions of the Catholic religion had 
become so intolerable, that the Church, stimulated 
* by conscience, was driven for relief to a separation 
from Rome. But, after what I considered strict 
examination into the facts of the case, I could find 
nothing to justify such a notion, — no recorded 
thought, word, or deed, emanating from the 
Church during the first thirty years of the sixteenth 
century, or up to the very date of the first Par- 
liament which moved in the Reformation, to show, 
or to indicate even remotely, any symptom of dis- 
satisfaction, on her part, with the existing religion.* 

* It will be perceived that I liere speak (and I do it purposely) of the evi- • 
dence of dissatisfaction of the Church in England. For the whole weight 
of the plea depends upon this distinction. And I cannot suppose that it will 
be pretended by any respectable Anglican, that the dissatisfaction of restless, 
fanatical individuals (although there was a peculiar absence of these men at 
the period aUuded to) indicates any reasonable br essential diaiatia&ctioii of 


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If she thought it corrupt, she gave no outward 
signs ; if she felt it to be oppressive, she uttered 
no complaint. Indeed, all the signs and complaints 
seemed the other way. The master spirit of the 
nation sent forth, in the person of the king, an in- 
dignant rebuke against Luther and the German 
princes for their attempt to throw oflF the Papal 
authority; while the English nation evinced no 
symptom of displeasure at the royal interference ! 
The causCy and, so far as I could discover, the sole 
cause which led to the rupture between England 
and Home was a personal one — was no other than 
the righteous refusal of Pope Clement VII. to di- 
vorce Henry VIII. from his lawftd wife, and to 
countenance his adulterous connection with his 
mistress ; and that the ecclesiastics were as a body 
forced to take part with Henry by threats and per- 
secutions. And then, by way of self-justification 
for their fatal submission, and entirely as an after- 
thought, were induced to echo the German cry of 

the Church itselC For example, it will hardly be thought fair to cite the 
fanaticism of Whitefield and the Wesleys as an evidence that the Church of 
England in their day was groaning under the oppressions of parliament m 
the supremacy of King George ! Or the language of Abiron to Moses (Num 
zvi. 3.)> " Thou takest too much upon thee, seeing all the congregation are 
holy, every one of thera, and the Lord is among them j wherefore, then, lift- 
ed thou up thyself above the congregation of the Lord ? " as a good proof that all 
, Israel were groaning under the oppressions of their supreme lawgiver, and 
anxious to throw off his righteous authority ! Indeed, the fact that ** Hen 17 
VIII. attempted to constitute," as Macaulay says, '■'■ an Anglican Church, 
differing from the Roman Catholic Church on the point of eupremacyj and on 
that point alone} and that his success in this attempt was extraordinary," 
showed to my mind clearly, that no dissatisfaction was felt with the Catho ■ 
He system generally ; and that the personal motive here will be sufficient to 
account tot his extxaoidinary and wicked course. 

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corruption in reKgion, and enormity in the exer- 
cise of Papal power. 

This, I know, will be regarded as a very serious, 
and, perhaps, presumptuous conclusion. But that 
I did not come to it on slight grounds, let the fol- 
lowing undeniable facts bear witness. 

At a period in England of, great religious quiet- 
ness and devotion to the Catholic Faith, King 
Henry VIIL became enamoured of his mistress, 
Anna Boleyn, and sought, through the Pope, a 
divorce from his lawful wife. This, after repeated 
applications, was peremptorily refused. The art- 
ful mistress at once resolved upon a plan that 
should remove every obstacle between herself and 
the object of her ambition ; and hence proceeded 
to instil into the mind of her royal paramour the 
notion that the Papal authority in England had no 
legal foundation. The temptation with Henry was 
too strong. He saw at a glance his advantage, — 
saw, from the accidental position of things, that the 
clergy could be brought to his feet. The statutes 
of " Praemunire," imder the royal license, had long 
been disregarded, but* still had legal force. Henry 
had granted to Cardinal "Wolsey permission to act 
as the legate of Some, which those statutes pro- 
hibit. The Cardinal had entered upon his office, 
and with die concurrence, too> of the bishops and 
clergy of the realm. Henry at once perceived the 
snare that lay around them ; and with a perfidy and 
cruelty of which few but himself were capable, 
proceeded to spring it upon his imsuspecting, and 

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really, in this matter, unoffending favorite. The 
horrible character of the act, and his knowledge of 
the man with whom he had to deal, led Wolsey at 
once to the determination to submit quietly to a 
fate which he saw was already decreed. The case 
of Wolsey, although it sent a thrill of something 
more than astonishment through the nation, failed 
to wake up the rest of the clergy to a sense of their 
own danger. Henry observing this, and feeling 
that their submission was essential to the accom- 
plishment of his nefarious purpose, proceeded to 
subject the whole body of them, as the " fautors, 
aiders, and abetters " of Wolsey, to the penalties 
of praemunire. They felt themselves in an evil 
case, and with a cowardice which nothing but their 
astounding position could palliate, sought to relax 
the royal grasp, and make their escape, by tender- 
ing to Henry more, it is said, than £1,500,000 of 
the present currency of England. The drama 
which followed shows, at least, how little the clergy 
of that nation were prepared to sympathize with 
the so called Keformation, and how reluctantly they 
were brought, after long resistance^ and a succes- 
sion of royal aggressions, to submit to its final, and, 
to themselves, fatal bondage. 

To their utter surprise Henry refused the pres- 
ent, unless they consented to add to it the declara- 
tion, which was to pass into a law, that "h§, and 
he only, was the protector and supreme head of the 
Church of England ; " and that " the cure of souls, 
which they exercifeed under him, had been commit- 

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ted to his charge." This demand, instead of being 
hailed, as protestants represent, with joy at the 
prospect which it opened, of freedom fix)m Bome, 
was actually viewed with consternation, and resisted 
as being opposed to the institution of Christ But 
there was' a savage cruelty about Henry which 
made them quail. And hence, instead of magnify- 
ing their office, and raising before the insulting 
monarch the cross as their shield and banner, they 
rushed to the foot of his throne, and in a tone of 
agoniziiig entreaty, besought him to retract his un- 
lawful exaction. But he remained inexorable ; and 
it was not till after many months, and about as 
many conferences, that he consented to substitute 
for his first demand the words, " The head of the 
Church, as far as the law of Christ would allow.** 
But this (the clergy having interpreted it in a sense 
admitting the supremacy of the Pope) did not sat- 
isfy him, nor come up to the meaning he intended. 
Indeed, he looked with jealousy upon the facts, 
that the name of the Pope still j)receded his own 
in the public prayers, and also that the bishops con- 
tinued to receive institution from Kome,* During 
the year following, therefore, which was 1532, he 
made, by the advice of his new favorite Cromwell, 
a further aggression. To insure to this step the 
more weight, the Commons were induced to peti- 
tion him against the right which the clergy had 
hitherto exercised, of making their own capons, 

* 8«e Lingard'fl Histoiy of ilM timt. 

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representing that they had done it against the laws 
of the realm. Under color of due regard to this 
petition, Henry called upon the clergy to submit 
" the whole body of their ecclesiastical code- to the 
revision of a committee of thirty-two persons, half 
clergymen and half laymen, and the whole to be 
nominated by himself,*' * 

At such a monstrous demand, we cannot wonder 
that the clergy, cowod as they were, should once 
more arouse themselves into an attitude of resist- 
ance. But all was in vain. Neither remonstrance 
nor entreaty for nearly two years could arrest the 
progress of the royal wilL To all and each Henry 
returned the stem and startling answer : *^ No con- 
stitution or ordinance shall be hereafter by the 
clergy enacted, promulged, and put in execution, 
xmless the king's highness approve the same, by 
his authority and royal assent, and his advice and 
fevor be also interposed, for the execution of 
every such constitution among his highness's sub- 

This in substance, but in a still more offensive 
form, issued from parliament, that true mother of 
the present Anglican Church, during the month of 
March, 1534, in that famous act (25 Henry VHI., 
c. 19) entitled on the rolls, "An Act for the Sub- 
mission of the Clergie to the King's Majesty.'* 

If the above history be true, as to me every 
dociunentary proof seemed to declare, we see the 

• See Cooper ««On the History of the Act of Submigsion,** p. 87, «* The 
AagUcan Chufch,'^ 4cc Lee ii. 

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utter falsity, in any fair sense, of the following lan- 
guage found in the preamble of the bill, and so 
often cited to show that the clergy in this, submis- 
sion only carried out the already admitted principle 
of the convocation. ^^ The King's Majesty justly 
and rightfully is, and ought to be, supreme head 
of the Church of England, and w had been recog^ 
nized [when ? and where ? ] 6y the clergy in their 

How, indeed, does this language contrast with 
the convictions of every candid Protestant writer 
who has examined the point? 

Concerning this whole proceeding, says Strype, 
(the Church of England annaHst,) '^ The king made 
them [the clergy] buckle to at last. It was another 
high block and difficulty for the clergy to get over, 
to reject the Pope*s power in England, and to ac- 
knowledge the king supreme head and governor in 
all causes, ecclesiastical as well as civil ; but that 
at length they unwillingly yielded unto."* *^The 
king," says Dr. Cardwell, ^*was determined to 
bind his fetters in such a manner that no strength 
or artifice on the part of his prisoner should enable 
him to escape from them ; and we know from the 
subsequent history of the Church, and the many 
fruitless attempts which have been made to obtain 
a relaxation of them, that the king's design has 
been eminently su^ccessfuV* f 

^^ By this act of submission, 26 Henry VIH.,'* 

• StQrpe'8 Mem. il. 234 . t Caldwell's » Synodaluu" 

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says Archbishop Wake, 'nhe king*s prerogative in 
this particular was somewhat enlarged, and the 
Metropolitan's authority not a little abridged ; for 
from henceforth the archbishop was restrained from 
assembling his provincial synod, without the king's 
writ to license and authorize him. So were they 
afterwards obliged to take his directions as to the 
management of their assembUes when convened, 
and not to deprive the prince the opportunity of 
making whatever use of them he had either been 
accustomed, or should otherwise think Jit legally 
to do.** This to me looked, and still looks, very 
little as if, previous to the above act, the clergy 
'^ had recognized the king as supreme head of the 
Church of England." 

To the above act, however, others in the same 
year were added, obliterating every trace of the 
Papal jiirisdiction, and transferring that jurisdic- 
tion, in so many words, to the king.* But all this 
was manifestly effected by the power of the king 
and his lay subjects.f I could find no evidence 

» See 96 Henry VIIL, c. I *' By which statute," say both Coke and filack- 
Btone, ** all that power which the Pope ever exercised within the realm in 
spirituals is now annexed to the Crown." Vide also, Lewis's " Notes cm 
the Royal Supremacy " (Toovey, London) ; and Pretyman's " Church of 
England subjected to the State," (Masters, New Bond Street). 

t I know it is sometimes asked, as if the question was a difficult "one to 
answer, how can the above be a true statement of the case, when it is a no- 
torious fact, that about the time to which we refer, a large majority of the 
bishops, headed by Cranmer, with the majority of the two universities, gave 
a decided negative to the following question : " Has any greater authority in 
this realm been giver by Qod in the Scripture to the Bishop of Rome than to 
any foreign biidiop ? " The following reply gave entire satisfaction to my 
own mind. « The reader will observe the artful structure of this question. 
Avowedly, tbere is no diiect meatiou of tlie fiLhop of Rome ia the Scripture j 

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that the convocation was either consulted, or did more 
than maintain a cowardly silence. Certain it is, 
that the Church gave no consent by the votes of 
her Bishops. For during the whole session, as 
may be seen by the journal, only seven out of 
twenty-one made their appearance in the House of 
Lords ; and of that seven only four gave their votes 
for the self-humiliating measures, at the head of 
whom stood Cranmer, who manifestly cared less 
for the preservation of his authority and dignity as 
Christ's representative, than he did for the favor 
of his sovereign, -^ an assertion not wanting either 
in truth or charity, when the following language 
addressed to that sovereign on his becoming arch- 
bishop, is duly considered. ^'Ordination," he 
says, " is used only for good order and seemly 
fashion." And again : *' In the New Testament, 
he that is appointed to be a bishop or priest need- 
eth no consecration by Scripture." And again: 
*' A bishop may make a priest, and so may princes 
and governors also, and that by the authority of 

no specification of the spiritual authority given to the successor of St. Peter 
fn particular ; no, nor even of the authority given to the successors of the 
Apostles in general On these subjects the Scripture is silent Not one of the 
sacred writers has thought of describing in detail the plan of church govern- 
ment which the apostles established, to be observed after their death. Fur 
that we must have recourse, as the Oxford teachers admit, to tradition. Tlonre 
it was natural to expect that to confine the question to the doctrine expressly 
taught in Scripture, would serve the same pujrpose as the introduction of the 
qualifying clause, * as far as allowed by the lato of Christj^ had served in the 
recognition of the king's supremacy. Many a man of timid mind, though he 
might in reality admit the authority of the Pope, might reconcile the denial 
of it with his conscience, by contending that he had only denied that it was 
directly taught in Scripture." For the reason why the New Testament did 
not mention in detail the plan of Church government, see the above Chapter 
Xlll., On TradiUon, 


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God."* Hence Burnet declares, that '* Cranmer 
had at this time some particular opinions concern- 
ing ecclesiastical offices ; that they were delivered 
from the king, as other civil offices were, and that 
ordination was not indispensably necessary, and was 
only a ceremony, that might be used or laid aside ; 
but that the authority was delivered to churchmen 
only by the Jcing^s commission.** f 

In pursuance of his principles, and pledges to 
the king, he led the way, in that suicidal act, by 
which all the bishops, except that noble martyr 
Fisher, resigned their jurisdiction, and consented 
to become the sole servants of the king, by receiv- 
ing from his polluted hands the only jurisdiction 
which they thenceforward either possessed, or pro- 
fessed to possess, in the exercise of their office. 
That I did not mistake in this matter, the following 
language, addressed at the time to their royal mas- 
ter, win sufficiently show. They say, " that all 
jurisdiction, civil and ecclesiastical, flowed from the 
king, and that they exercised it only at the king's 
courtesy ; and as they had it of his bounty, so they 
would be ready to deliver it up when he should be 
pleased to call for it,** Upon this the king pro- 
ceeded to give them authority to act in his stead, 
and subject to his will, in fulfilling their episcopal 

* Cranmer's Works, ii. 101. 

t Burnet's Abridg., 1. i., p. 250. " Cranmor had declared in emphatie 
terms, that ' God had immediately committed to Christian princes the whole 
care of all their subjects, as well concerning the administration of God's toord 
for the cure of souls^ as concerning the ministration of things political.' " 
Thus speaks Macaulay, adding, " These are Cranmer's own words ; " refer- 
ilBg to the Appendix of Burnet's History, &c., Part I. B. iii. No. 31. Ques. 9. 

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functions. So that they were every where consid- 
ered the Tcing*s bishops.* 

Another act of parliament, however, attracted 
my attention ; particularly as it immediately fol- 
lowed the one, doing away with the Pope's suprem- 
acy, and giving the king supreme power in all 
causes spiritual, as well as temporal ; and designed 
doubtless to sweep away every qualifying clause of 
previous declarations and acts, and make the mon- 
arch the supreme and absolute head of the Church. 
It was a declaratory act, and ran in the following 
terms : *^ The king, his heirs, and successors, kings 
of this realm shall be taken, accepted, and reputed 
the ONLY SUPREME HEAD on earth of the Church 
of England, called Anglicana Ecclesia ; and shall 
have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial 
crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, 
as all honors, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, 
privileges, authorities, immunities, profits, and com- 
modities to the said dignity of supreme head of 
the same Church, belonging and appertaining ; and 
that he, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, 
shall have full power and authority from time to 
time to visit, repress^ redress, reform, order, correct, 
restrain, and amend all such errors, heresies, 
abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities, v^thatso- 
EVER they be, which by any manner of spiritual 
authority or jurisdiction, ought or may lawfully 

• Burnet, Abridg., 238. Also Lingard and Bishop Kenrick on ** Validity of 
AngUcan Ord.** 

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be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, cor- 
rected, restrained, or amended."* 

If, indeed, the act of " Suhmission of the 
clergy," left any thing to be done by way of mak- 
ing the power of the king over the Church absolute 
and unconditional, it seemed to me to be effectu- 
ally supplied in this declaratory act. For it will 
be observed that the little phrase, " as far as is al- 
lowable by the law of Christ," upon which the 
clergy had risked so tremendous a stake, has van- 
ished forever, and the naked, unrestricted, unen- 
cumbered spiritual headship of the nation stands 
before them in the person of the king, raising aloft 
with sacrilegious hand, the keys wrested from the 
chair of St. Peter, and, with " great swelling words 
of vanity," commanding every subject, from the 
archbishop to the beggar, not to seek, under the 
sorest penalties, supreme spiritual direction from 
any other source on earth ! 

That here is no over-statement — no picture of 
the imagination — will be seen after a moment's 
reflection upon the stubborn facts just adduced, and 
a moment's attention to the comment upon them im- 
mediately given by the king himself. And here I 
must be allowed to use the language of another, 
which seemed to exhibit to my mind a just and 
forcible view of the real intent of this new knd 
extraordinary prerogative. 

'^ 1st. It was impossible that the king should 

• Statutes of Realm. See Cardbial Wiseman's Sennon on " The Two 
(Supremacies. »* 

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attend in person to all the duties which his new 
dignity brought with it, and he was glad to impose 
the heaviest part of the burden upon one of his 
officers. The reader will of course infer that this 
office would be no other than the Archbishop. Not 
so ; a layman himself , he chose for his spiritu-coadju- 
tor another layman, the originator of the whole 
scheme, Thomas Cromwell, his first secretary and 
mastjer of the EoUs. Him the king appointed his 
vicegerent, vicar general, and principal officer, 
^ with full powers to exercise and execute all and 
every that authority and jurisdiction appertaining 
to himself as head of the Church, and to appoint 
others his delegates and commissaries to execute 
the same under him ; authorizing them to resist all 
dioceses and Churches, to summon before them all 
ecclesiastical persons, even bishops and archbishops, 
to inquire into their manners and lives, to ptmish 
with spiritual censures, to issue injunctions, and 
to exercise all the functions of the ecclesiastical 

" 2d, A royal inhibition was then issued to the 
archbishops and bishops, ordering them to abstain 
from all exercise of spiritual jurisdiction, till the 
king had made the visitation of their dioceses; 
which visitation was commenced in diffisrent parts 
of the kingdom by the vicar general and his dele- 
gates. The object of this measure was to probe 
the sincerity of the bishops in their submission to 

* Wilk. Cov. iii. 784. 


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the king's supremacy. If they laid claim to any 
authority as inherent in their office, they would 
now, it was argued, advance that claim and seek to 
prove it, or own by their silence that it was inde- 
fensible ; and by suing out the restoration of their 
powers from the king, would furnish a practical 
acknowledgment that he was the fountain from 
which they derived their spiritual authority. ' If 
they claim it as a right, let them show their^evi- 
dence. If they take it as a benefit of the king's 
highness, let them sue for it again by suppUcation, 
that they and all others may imderstand him to be 
the head power within this realm imder God, and 
that no jurisdiction proceedeth within the same 
but from him.' — (i. and A, Rice to Cromwell. 
Strype Mem, App, 145.) It happened as was fdre- 
seen. * The bishops submitted in silence ; and one 
after another petitioned for the restoration of their 
ordinary jurisdiction; which was doled out to 
them by piecemeal to be held only at the king's 
pleasure, with an admonition, that *they would 
have to answer for their exercise of it before the 
supreme Judge hereafter, and before the king's 
person in the present world.' — Wilk. Con. iiL 
787. Sfc. 

" 3d, But the humiliation of the bishops was 
not yet completed. In June, 1536, the Convoca- 
tion met. On the 16th Dr. Petre came and al- 
leged, that of right the first place in that assembly 
belonged to the king as head of the Church, and 
in the absence of the king to the vicar general, the 

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honorable Thomas Cromwell, the king's vicegerent 
for causes ecclesiastiral ; that he himself stood 
there as proctor for the said vicar general, as would 
appear by the commission which he held in his 
hand ; and, therefore, he demanded that the place 
aforesaid should be assigned to him in virtue of 
that commission. It was read accordingly, the 
claim was allowed, and Petre took the first seat. 
At the next session Cromwell himself made his ap- 
pearance and presided, as he did afterwards on 
several important occasions, always occupying the 
same place, and subscribing the resolutions before 
the archbishop,^^ — Wilk. iii. Strype^s Mem. i. ^45. 

" Thus it was in convocation ; and the same 
honor was paid to him in parliament. By the Act 
^for placing the Lords,' it was ordered that the 
Lord Cromwell, ^the king's vicegerent for good 
ministration of justice in causes ecclesiastical, and 
for the godly reformation and redress of all errors, 
heresies, and abuses in the Church, and that every 
person having the said office of grant from his 
majesty or his heirs, should have place on the same 
form with, but above, the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and should have voice to assent or dissent as 
others the Lords in Parliament.' — Stat, of Realm, 
iii. Thus the vicar general took the precedence of 
every peer, both spiritual and temporal, whatever 
might be his office in Church or state." 

What language, I asked myself, could tell as 
plainly as do these proceedings under shield of the 
Acts of Parliament, what these acts were under- 

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stood on all hands to mean ? But should any one 
pnefer further comment in Imguage, let them med- 
itate upon the following, addressed to the king in 
an Act of ParUament, not long before his death : 
" Your most royal majesty hath full power and au- 
thority to correct, punish, and redress all manner 
of heresies, errors, vices, sins, abuses, idolatry, 
hypocrisies, and superstition* spnmg in and growing 
within this Church of England. . .Your majesty is 
the only and undoubted head of the Church of Eng- 
land, and also of Ireland, to whom, by Holy 
Scripture, all authority and power is wholly * 

GIVEN TO hear AND DETERMINE all manner of 
causes ecclesiastical, to correct vice and sin whatso- 
ever, and to all such, persons as your majesty shall 
appoint, ^^ * 

Here it is manifest, as in other Acts of Parlia- ■ 

ment, that the king's authority extended to doctrine ( 

as well as discipline. I know it is sometimes said i 

that the clergy never gave their assent to such pre- f 

rogative in a layman. And in truth it is difficult ) 

to conceive how even fear should have prevailed ■ 

upon them thus to betray their awful trust. But i 

so it was. In petitioning the king for power and ^ 

license to set forth " The Godly and Pious Insti- 
tution of a Christian Man," they say to him, " with- 
out the which power and license of your majesty, 
we know and confess that we have none authority 
eyther to assemble ourselves together for any pre- 
tence or purpose, or to publishe any thing that 

* Stat. Realm, iii. 109. 

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might be by us agreed on and compyled. And al- 
beit, most dredlie and benign soveraigne Lorde, we 
do affirm by our lemyngs with one assent, that the 
said treatise is in all poynts concordant and agree- 
able to holy Scripture, yet we do most humbly 
submit it to the most excellent wisdorft and exact 
judgment of your majestic to be recognized, over- 
sene and corrected; if your Grace shall find any 
word or sentence in it mete to be changed, quali- 
fied or further expounded, whereunto we shall in 
that case conforme ourselves, as to our most bounden 
duties to God and to your highness appertaineth."* 
Here to me it was manifest that the clergy had 
not only submitted their judgments in matters of 
doctrine to the king's direction ; but also held that 
their duty to God required this submission ; and 
surely on no other ground than that the king's 
direction was God's established mode of communi- 
cation to them. Indeed, they had already yielded 
to a succession of demands on the part of the king, 
which absolutely required this idea for any thing 
like self-justification. They had submitted to an 
act of parliament which declares that ^^ all declara- 

* Wilk. Con. Hi. 831. " What Henry and his favorite councillors meant," 
says Macaulay, " was certainly nothing less than the full power of the keys. 
The king was to be the Pope of his kingdom, the Vicar of God, the expositor 
of Catholic verity, the channel of sacramental graces. He arrogated to him- 
self the right of decidihg dogmatically what was orthodox doctrine and what 
was heresy, of drawing up and imposing confessions of faith, and of giving 
religious instruction to his people. He proclaimed that all jurisdiction, spir- 
itual as well as temporal, was derived from him alone j and that it was in his 
power to confer episcopal aiUkorityy and to take it away. He actually ordered 
his seal to be put to commissions by which bishops toere appointed^ who were to 
exercise their functions as his deputies and during his pleasure." 

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tions, definitions, and ordinances which should be 
set forth by them, with his majesty's advice, and 
confirmed by his letters patent, should be in all 
and every point, limitation, and circumstance, by 
all his grace's subjects, and all persons resident in 
his dominions, fully believed^ obeyed, and observed 
under the penalties therein to be comprised."* 
Well, I thought, might it be said " By this enact- 
ment the religious belief of every Englishman was 
laid at the king's feet. He named the commis- 
sioners ; he regulated their proceedings by his ad- 
vice ; he reviewed their decisions ; and if he con- 
firmed them by letters patent imder the great seal, 
they became from that moment the doctrines of the 
English Church, which every man was bound to 
* believe ' (that is the word) under such penalties as 
might be assigned." An act soon followed defin- 
ing these penalties. And what more fearful ever 
proceeded, even in rumor, from the Spanish Inqui- 
sition? '*Alas!" I said to myself, "is this the 
boasted change from the tyranny of Bome to the 
freedom of Protestant England, so eagerly sought 
and so gloriously achieved?" That precious 
^^ liberty wherewith Christ has made us free," 
trumpeted fax and wide as the golden fruit of the 
Keformation under Henry and Cranmer ! I could 
not repress within me feelings of indignation as I 
read for the first time the following : *^ If any man 
shall teach or maintain any matter contrary to the 
Godly instructions and determinations which have 

* Stat of Realm, iii. 783. 

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been or shall be thus set forth hy his majesty, he 
shall, in case he be a layman, for the first offence, 
recant and be imprisoned twenty days ; for the 
second, adjure the realm ; and for the third, suffer 
the forfeiture of his goods, and imprisonment for 
life; but if he be a clergyman, he shall for the 
frst offence be permitted to recant ; on his refusal 
or second offence, shall abjure, and bear a fagot ; 
and on his refusal again, or third offence, shall be 
adjudged a heretic, and suffer the pains of death 
by burning, with the forfeiture to the king of all 
his goods and chattels." — Stat, of Realm, iii. 896. 



At the death of Henry, 1547, Edward, his son, 
a boy in his tenth* year, succeeded to the throne. 
Cranmer was still archbishop, and at the height of 
his influence. If, therefore, he had not fully yielded 
his mind to the system of abject submission in 
which the clergy had been drilled by Henry, here 
was an opportunity to help them to throw off the 
yoke, and return to their spiritual independence. 
But Cranmer made no effort in that direction. In- 
deed, he lost no time in adopting measures to per- 
petuate their slavery to the crown. His first step 
was to throw up his commission (as if to show that 

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he felt that his spiritual authority died with his 
sovereign) and petition his new master for another. 
The petition was granted, and the system of the for- 
mer reign was thus handed over to this. Cranmer's 
example was followed, as was expected, by his 
brother bishops. They all laid their commissions 
at the feet of the boy-king, acknowledging that he 
Was " the only source of all manner of temporal 
and spiritual jurisdiction within the realm ; " * and 
humbly entreating his favor in a renewal of their 
powers. The same tests were applied, and the 
same was acted over as in the former reign. The 
bishops were all again suspended frpm the exercise 
of their functions, till the king, in the person of 
lay commissioners mainly, could restore their seV^ 
eral dioceses, and assure himself of their strict and 
honest subordination. In addition, an inquisition 
was established by him, to try heretical pravity ; 
and it is not the least remarkable instance of retrib- 
utive justice at the time, that the three leading in- 
quisitors,t who, as instruments of the king, had 
adjudged heretics to the flames, J should finally in 
their turn suffer the same kind of death, on the 
same groimds. 

The reign of the Cathohc Mary succeeded the 

short reign of Edward ; and hence with it the old 

. religion to the new one of Henry. The changes 

which took place, with the reasons, seemed to me 

to be pretty accurately given in the following, 

* Wilk. Gov. iii. 821. 

t Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley % Ann Bocher and Von Parris. 

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based upon Collier, Rymer, and Macaulay. 1. The 
five bishops, so unjustly deprived to make room for 
reformers under Edward, recovered their sees. On 
the attainder of Crianmer for treason in the attempt 
to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne, the arch- 
bishopric was considered vacant, and the adminis- 
tration assumed by the Chapter of the Cathedral. 
Holegate, of York, and Bird, of Chester, were de- 
prived, because, having taken the monastic vows, 
they had nevertheless contracted marriage de facto , 
though they had not de jure; Taylor, Hooper, 
Harley, and Ferrar, calling themselves bishops of 
Lincoln, Worcester, Hereford, and St. David's, 
were removed on account of the nullity of their 
consecration, the defect of their title (a patent from 
the king, with a clause, limiting their office to the 
time of their good behavior,) and for divers other 
causes ; and ]Barlowe, of Bath and Wells, with 
Bush, of Bristol, hardly escaped the same fate by 
timely resignation. (Collier ii. 364-5, Rym, xv. 
370, &c.) In this manner all the men of the new 
learning were drawn from the episcopal bench, and 
their places were speedily filled by others attached 
to the ancient worship. 2. Immediately after the 
accession of Mary, an act was passed annulling 
whatever had been enacted on religious matters 
during the nonage of her late brother ; and a little 
after, another act, repealing in like manner all acts 
passed in the reign of her father, Henry VIII., 
touching religion, thus restoring the Pope's supreme 
acy, and replacing religion on precisely the same 

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footing it occupied before the quarrel of Henry 
with the Apostolic See. The same religious gov- 
ernment, the same religious worship, the same re^ 
ligious doctrine prevailed. What, then, are we to 
say of the Church of England under Mary ? Was 
it the same Church with the Church under Edward 
— or the same with the Church at the accession 
of Henry ? If the apostolicity of the Church under 
Mary be admitted, there appeared clearly to my 
mind an end to the present claim of the Church of 
England. The chain is broken. She cai\not have 
her descent from that Church, She cannot connect 
herself with it. '* Hence the high-churchmen teU 
us that under Mary every rule of ecclesiastical 
polity was violated ; that unjustifiable changes were 
made by the influence of the queen and of Gard- 
ner, and that the Church of England was oppressed 
by a schismatical prelacy and clergy.*** 

In regard to this objection, the following con- 
siderations were to me a sufficient answer. First. 
What Henry VIII. did under his claim of suprem- 
acy was, religiatLsly, either lawful, or not lawful. 
If not lawful, then to undo what he had done, was 
the indispensable duty of Mary and her parliament. 
But if lawful^ then surely she and her parliament 
had the same right, which he had exercised, to 
make changes ; and hence, if she saw fit, to restore 
religion to its ancient foundation. Particularly in 
the changes which Mary made in the episcopal 

• See Palmer, vol. i., 479. 

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bench, she would have been fully justified on the 
principle adopted by Henry and accorded to him 
by the bishops, that the king, as supreme head of 
the Church, had the sole power of giving jurisdic- 
• tion. This principle is distinctly set forth in the 
words of the king's patent imder Edward for mak- 
ing bishops. '^ We tiame, make, create, constitute, 
and declare N. Bishop of ^ N., to have and to hold 
to himself the said bishopric during the term of his 
natural Kfe, if for so long a time he behave himself 
well therein ; and we empower him to confer orders, 
to institute to livings, to exercise all manner of ju- 
risdiction, and to do all that appertains to the epis- 
copal or pastoral office, over and above the things 
known to have been coipmitted to him by God in 
the Scriptures, in place of us, in our name, and by 
our royal authority." The whole episcopal juris- 
diction was not only thus made to proceed original- 
ly from the king, but the term of exercising it was 
placed at his will, and might, any moment, be ter- 
minated at his pleasure, and even that of the royal 
visitors, as was seen to be the fact under both Henry 
and Edward. Hence that language already cited, 
as addressed to .Henry by the suspended bishops, 
confessing that not only ^^ all jurisdiction flowed 
from him," but also, that '^ they would he ready 
to deliver their jurisdiction up, when he should 
he pleased to call for itJ*^ Now surely on this 
principle, thus admitted and thus acted upon in 
the two previous reigns, Mary was amply justified 
in restoring and regulating, as she did, the bench 

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of bishops. But let it be recollected that she acted 
on higher grounds, viz., that what had been un- 
scripturally and nncanonically done, to the hin- 
derance of true religion, by her father and brother, 
she was bound by the law of God and His Church 
to abolish. Besides, if, as Protestants assert, the 
feelings of the Church in England were ripe, un- 
der Henry, for the Reformation, and rushed, as it 
was opened, into its arms for protection, what meant 
the sudden reaction under Mary towards the old 
religion ? How came it to pass that the Church 
and parliament were so soon sustained in their vig- 
orous measures for its restoration ? This circum- 
stance, after every explanation and gloss that Prot- 
estantism could put upon it, seemed to me to ex- 
pose, in a manner too clear and stem for sophistry 
to evade, the usual pleas put forth in justification 
of England's schism! K Protestant representa- 
tions of the state of England's mind and heart be 
true, — ' if, as is said, there had been in her bosom 
such hatred of Catholic error and such yearning 
for Protestant truth, I could not understand how, 
when she had once been set free, once had a taste 
of the glorious liberty for which she had so long 
sighed, any power on earth should so soon have 
brought her back to what is call the despotism of 

* To use the language of a Protestant writer on this point, " all was over in 
nine days. London — the stronghold of Protestantism — ^ declared enthusias- 
tically for Maiy. The fleet went over j the troops which Northumberland 
attempted to gather in the eastern counties deserted in a body. The con 
qiiracy was crushed without a blow." 

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And then, when Elizabeth, the stem and inex- 
orable Protestant, at least by policy, succeeded to 
the throne, what a struggle to bow the neck of the 
Church again to the yoke which she had with com- 
l^arative ease just thrown off ! And how manifest 
is it, that that neck would never have been made 
thus to bow, but for the power of the Lords of the 
land on the one hand, and the lowest of the people 
on the other. The one being too manifestly led on 
by the lust of gain ; the other by the lust of licen- 
tious freedom. % 

The following appeared to me to be the facts of 
the case, as furnished by the Acts of Parliament, 
and the most reliable historians : 

Elizabeth, by the circumstances of her birth, and 
the adverse claims of Mary Stuart, found it neces- 
sary, as she thought, to the preservation of her 
throne, to place herself at the head of the ' Prot- 
estant cause in England. Measures were imme- 
diately and secretly taken, to secure to her policy a 
majority in her first Parliament.* In this she was 

* Strype, in his " Annals/' (1 Rec. No. iv.) gives a remarkable document 
relating to this matter, of whicli the following is an abstract of the plan 
recommended by Elizabeth's advisers to secure her throne. <* 1. To prohibit 
strictly all innovations except by the CourL 3. To sow dissension, particu- 
larly religious dissension, among the subjects of France and Scotland. 3. To 
persecute the bishops and clergy under penal laws, and particularly by prtemun 
nire. 4. To labor to degrade all who had been in authority under the lata 
dueen in the estimation of the people, by inquiries into their conduct, and 
legal prosecutions as far as possible. 5. To displace the existing magistrates, 
and substitute others, meaner in substance and younger in years. 6. To officer 
the militia with devoted partisans of the Court. 7. In like manner the uni- 
versities to be looked after, and the discontented weeded out. 8. Her Majesty 
to hear Mass and go to Communion * on High Feasts.* 9. A committee of 
divines to draw up a plot, or book, &c." 

13 • 



successful. The statutes of Henry, her father, and 
Edward her brother, levelled at Papal authority, 
and concentrating all ecclesiastical and spiritual 
power in the crown, were, by the repeal of the 
enactments of the last reign, recalled into full 

It was enacted, too, that the Book of Common 
Prayer with certain alterations and additions should, 
to the exclusion of every thing else, be used by 
the ministers in all churches, under pain of for- 
feiture, of privation, and of death ; that the spir- 
itual authority of every foreign prelate within the 
realm should be utterly abolished ; that the juris- 
diction necessary for the correction of errors, her- 
esies, schisms, and abuses, should be annexed to 
the crown, with the power of delegating such juris- 
diction to any person or persons whatever at the 
pleasure of the Sovereign ; that the penalty of as- 
serting the Papal authority should ascend on the 
repetition of the oflFence from the forfeiture of real 
and personal property to perpetual imprisonment , 
and from perpetual imprisonment to death. And 
that all clergymen, &c., should, under pain of 
deprivation, take an oath, declaring the Queen to 
be supreme governor in all ecclesiastical and spirit- 
ual things or causes . . . renouncing all foreign, 
ecclesiastical, and spiritual jurisdiction or authority 
whatsoever within the realm."* 

I observed in respect to these enactments that 

* See Statutes of Realm. Lord Paget declares that " the new Prayer Book 
was distasteful to dmenth twelfths of the population.'* 

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the parliament of Elizabeth pursued a totally dif- 
ferent course from that of the Parliament under 
Mary. While the latter did nothing, in respect to 
religion, but restore it to its original Catholic state 
and privileges, the former established new forms of 
worship, and unusual prerogatives of spiritual juris- 
diction. Besides, while Mary acted in communion 
with the Church and under its approbation, I found 
that Elizabeth proceeded in defiance of it. Every 
bishop in the house, I saw by the journal, voted 
against these bills ; that the Convocation presented 
a document, amongst other things, protesting 
against the competency of any lay assembly to pro- 
nounce on matters of '^ doctrine, worship, and dis- 
cipline;" and that the two Universities came to 
the aid of the Convocation, and subscribed the doc- 
ument ; that even the lay opposition in the House 
of Lords was unusually large ; and that, if the Act 
relating to the Book of Common Prayer really 
passed at all, it was only by a majority of two or 
three. And this was obtained by the imprisonment 
of two bishops, and by raising five Commoners of 
the new faith to the peerage. Now, as these Acts 
are the real basis of the present Church of Eng- 
land, I asked myself, how is it possible that this 
Church can be linked by uninterrupted sttccessian 
with the Church of the Apostles ? 

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That the present Church of England, and con- 
sequently the daughter in America, stands upon the 
same foundation as that of the Church of Elizabeth, 
is a fact too notorious to require more than to be 

That 'foundation is to my mind faithfully ex- 
hibited in the following act of William IV. : ^^ Wil- 
liam IV., by the grace of God, of the united king- 
dom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, defender 
of the Faith, to all to whom these presents shall 
come, greeting: We, having confidence in the 
learning, morals, and probity of our well-beloved 
and venerable W. G. B., do name and appoint him 
to be bishop and ordinary pastor of the See of 

A , so that he shall be, and shall be taken 

to be, bishop of the Bishop's See, and may, by 
virtue of this our nomination and ajpjpointm^ent, 
enter into and possess the said Bishop's See, as the 
bishop thereof, without any let or impediment of 
us ; and we do hereby declare that if we, our heirs 
and successors, shall think Jit to recall or revoke the 

appointment of the said bishop of A , or his 

successors, that every such bishop shall, to all in- 
tents and purposes, cease to be bishop of A 


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And we do hereby give and grant to the said 

bishop of A , and his successors, bishops of 

A , full potoer and authority to confirm 

those that are baptized^ &c., and to perform aU 
other functions, peculiar and appropriate to a bishop, 

within the limits of the said See of A . And 

we do by these presents give and grant to the said 

bishop and his successors, bishops of A , full 

power and authority to admit into the holy orders 
of deacon and priest respectively, any person whom 
he shall deem duly qualified, and to punish and 
correct chaplains, ministers, priests, and deacons, 
according to their deserts."* 

Upon this examination and due reflection, I be- 
came convinced, that, in regard to this source of 
mission or jurisdiction, the " Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the United States " stands on precisely 
the same foimdation as does her mother the Angli- 
can, and hence must share in any defects which the 
parliamentary system of Elizabeth may have en- 
tailed upon that mother. 

* I was aware that it had been pleaded that the power of election, is still im 
the hands of the Church. But the conge tTelire^ as lately so always, has 
proved to be an unmeaning form. The words of the statute most clearly 
make it so. They are as follows : <* In virtue of which license {meaning the 
0onge d'tlire]f the said dean and chapter shall with all speed and celerity (that 
is, within twelve fUys), in due form, elect and choose the e*id person ntoMd [ia 
the king's letters missive, sent with the Ucense] to this dignity and office, 
and no other." Then the law providos that in case the dean and chapter fail 
to do this within the prescribed time, the duty of election devolves upon the 
Crown, and the dean and chapter incur the penalty of prmmunire. Of this 
Bishop Gibson says, " The only choice the electors have under this restraint 
is, whether they will obey the king or incur a prcBmunire." Or, as Dr. John- 
son once playfully remarked, ** Tlie Church has about tlie «ame choice in the 
election of her chief ministers, as a man flung out of a window has to chooM 
a soft seat for himself when ho pets to the bv>ttoia." Viae Pretyraan's *^Clk 
of England subjugated," Slq* (Masters.) 

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1. The very application made to the Church 
of England to consecrate and send bishops to the 
United States, and the very objects of the mission 
of such bishops, — what they were to "do and 
teach" under it, — as set forth in the application, 
were framed and settled, not by the siu:cessors of 
Apostles, but by a convention, made up of some 
half dozen presbyters, and a few more laymen, the 
latter of whom, if we may believe the Memoirs of 
the American Church, by the Eight Rev. and most 
venerable Dr. Colute, exercised a controlling influ- 
ence. 2. This application, and the objects of the 
mission applied for, being duly considered by the 
government of England, an act of parliament 
" gave and granted," under certain specified condi- 
tions and restrictions, to certain persons belonging 
to the United States, the power of episcopal juris- 
diction. It is true this power was placed beyond 
the reach of the authority who gave it, and hence 
could not be revoked by that authority. Still the 
transfer by the very conditions of the grant, while 
it gave release from one lay power, subjected it 
virtually to another. Hence, by the constitutions 
and canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the United States, an absolutely controlling power 
is given to the laity in all questions, as well oi faith 
as of mission. So that no point of doctrine can be 
settled — no new diocese be formed — no new 
bishop be sent — no presbyter receive mission — 
and so on, to the end of the chapter, without the 
express consent of the laity. And when we add to 

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tHs their fixed, canonical authority, the moral in- 
fluence they must necessarily exercise over the 
clergy, in a system where the daily bread of the 
clergy is dependent upon their will,* we see that, 
in their release from the domination of the Anglican 
King and parliament, the American bishops have 
gained little in the way of an independent exercise 
of their mission. Here as there, instead of a real 
descent of authority, as the theory is, from the 
divine fountain, the stream is made to flow back- 
ward and upward. Besides, in England and the 
United States there is a remarkable resemblance 
in the condition respectively of the lay powers. In 
both, these powers are irresponsible. Of the inde- 
pendence of the king and English Parliament I will 
not speak ; but of the independence of the laity in 
the Protestant Episcopal Church where I was a 
bishop, I will say, that while the clergy, are sub- 
jected to strict and salutary discipline, not a canon 
nor a rubric exists which can make laymen — even 
while exercising their functions in settling the £uth 
and controlling the mission of the Chiirch — an- 
swerable to any tribunal for the foulest heresy or 
the most rampant schism I 

But, if this were not so, if no lay power what- 
ever existed to control or modify the episcopal au- 
thority and mission of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in America, the real character of that au- 
thority and mission must depend upon the character 

• The support of the clergy in the U. S. depends upon volanttiy contribu- 
tiona of the laity. 

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of the source firom which they are derived. So 
that any defect, I repeat, which the modier Church 
of England may have inherited from the system of 
Elizabeth, seemed to me clearly entailed upon the 
daughter in the United States ! 

Now then, I entreat my old friends to allow me 
to call their minds to that view of the mission and 
jurisdiction of the English Chiirch, as established 
by Elizabeth, which destroyed my confidence in 
her claim to my submission. I asked myself — not 
as a Catholic, not as a controversialist — but as one 
deeply anxious to know the iviU of God, and to 
know, if possible, that that will would sustain me 
in my Protestant position — I asked myself, who 
SENT Archbishop ParJcer 1 * "Who put the Gospel 
into his hand ? told him what it contained ? what 
was the depositum of faith and sacraments and wor- 
ship of the *^One, Holy, Catholic Church" com- 
mitted to him? and commissioned him to teach 
that faith, dispense those sacraments, and conduct 
that worship, and, when death should come to ter- 
minate his apostolic work, to hand on that *^ de- 
positum " to the successors of the apostles yet to 
arise ? I made this appeal to my conscience again 
and again, '^ Who thus sent the first archbishop of 
EHzabeth ? gave him mission to act in this or that 
way for God ? " 

When Elizabeth ascended the throne, I saw two 
powers only, who even claimed the right of spirit- 

♦ " For how caii oue preach except he be sent ? " — St. Pauh 

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ual jurisdiction in England, and hence tlie right of 
giving mission to exercise " the office of a bishop in 
the Church of God ! " — the Pope and the Queen ! 
The Pope, sustained in his authority by the whole 
Church * in England ; the Queen sustained by her 
parliament only. The Church, therefore, in Eng- 
land could not have commissioned and sent this arch- 
bishop. She was utterly against him. Against him, 
in her faith, her sacraments, her worship, her judg- 
ment, her authority! She stood forth, with the 
successor of St. Peter at her hand, professing the 
Catholic faith, dispensing the Catholic sacraments, 
enforcing the Catholic ritual, and requiring all who 
went out under her authority to defend this faith, 
guard these sacraments, and observe this ritual! 
The archbishop of Elizabeth appears, in defiance 
of the successor of St. Peter, professedly bearing 
another faith, other sacraments, and ordered and 
commissioned imder another ritual ! Who sent 
him ? Whence derived he the authority to execute 
the office of a bishop in the mystical body of 
Christ, — "the one, holy. Catholic, and apostolic 
ChvjTch?" Really, I could discern no authority 
earlier than the queen and parliament of England ! 
And, therefore, that my own commission to act for 
Christ had its origin in man I f 

* It has been shown in the last chapter, that every Bishops the eoKVOoatitmy 
and both univeraitieSf sided with the authority of the Roman Pontiffs, 
t Vide Allies' " See of St. Peter," Bums and Lambert, London. 







In 1534 the English parliament, by formal act, 
severed the tie, which had hitherto bound the 
Church of England to the Catholic Church, by 
throwing off all allegiance to the See of St. Peter ; 
and on the plea that " in the realm of England no 
greater authority has been given by Grod in the 
Scripture to the Bishop of Some, than to any other 
foreign bishop." 

When I approached this question I felt a degree 
of awe which I cannot well express, particularly as 
it presented a claim not only of the most fearful 
magnitude in itself, but also one, which, from its 
very nature, must determine irrevocably the duty 
of every Protestant who would be saved; and 
hence my duty for time and for eternity! 

I first looked narrowly at the words of the act 
itself; and was not a little surprised that any one 
not anxious to mislead, should have employed terms 
so equivocal. Not only were the special powers 
of the '^ Bishop of Bome " to be subjected to the 
test of Holy Scripture (a thing as we have seen, in 
its strict sense, most unreasonable in itself), but 
also tried in this mere diocesan title, in their claim 
to universal jurisdiction. Now the title ^^ Bishop 

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of Borne " may, with a Catholic, imply '^ the suc- 
cession of St. Peter." But, in the mouth of a 
Protestant, I felt that it might jnore likely be de- 
signed to express mere diocesan authority. In 
which case an extension of such authority to the 
island of England might, I saw clearly, be branded, 
and, without the aid of Scripture, as a usurpation. 
For the Pope, as the bishop of the diocese of Rome 
merely, I had been led to believe, had no more 
claim to jurisdiction beyond that diocese, than any 
other bishop had to jurisdiction beyond his partic- 
ular see. But a little examination convinced me 
that no such claim had ever been set up — that no 
such jurisdiction had ever been exercised. That, 
on the contrary, the claim to jurisdiction in the 
island of England, rested upon a claim to jurisdic- 
tion over the whole CathoHc Church, and that this 
devolved upon the Bishop of Rome as the successor 
of St. Peter — Rome being, in the Providence of 
God, the Apostolic See ; so that the language of 
the act failed to place before the mind a fair defini- 
tion of the case ; as it tended in my view to con- 
found that diocesan authority which the bishop of 
Rome, as bishop, held in common with all other 
bishops, with that supreme jurisdiction^ which, as 
the successor of St Peter, he had above and be- 
yond all others. Hence the question submitted to 
the Church of England by Henry, ought, in my 
humble judgment, to have been — not whether 
^'the bishop of JRoTWc" has authority in England 
— but whether England was not bound as a mem 

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ber of the " One, Holy Catholic, Apostolic Church,*' 
to submit to the See of St Peter at Rome, as, by 
the providence of .God, the centre of tmity and the 
source of jurisdiction in that Church! 

Under this form of the question, I approached 
with trembling steps and a supplicating heart the 
great and all-absorbing point, as it seemed to me, 
between Protestantism and the Catholic Church. 

Having derived my authority from the Church 
of Henry through Elizabeth, I was compel^pd, more 
or less, to view this point as exhibited in the claim 
of spiritual supremacy, on the part of the king, 
contrasted with the claim of the spiritual suprem- 
acy of the See of St. Peter in the person of the 
Bishop of Some. 

I first asked myself, what is the common-sense 
view of the case ? Which claim seems most likely 
to be well founded ? 

By the declarations of holy Scripture the Church 
was presented to me as "One Body in Chris t.^^ 
By the uniform teaching of the Fathers I found 
this idea : " The Church, one, undivided, indivisi- 
ble," fastened upon the minds and hearts of all the 
faithful in the age next to the Apostles. Tlie 
Church ^^ one ; " not separated by national distinc- 
tions, but one ^^ holy nation," gathered out of all 
the unholy nations, and bound together by the 
bonds of strictest unity, and animated by a spirit 
which at once raised it above all ea|*thly associa- 
tions, and gave it a power to control and fashion 
them to its will. Which' claim, under this view 

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of the Church, — a view generally admitted among 
Protestants in theory, — seems most likely to be 
well founded ? most commends itself to my under- 
standing ? A claim founded in universal jurisdic- 
tiorhy or a claim based upon mere national preroga- 
tive ? A claim upheld* by spiritual sanctions, or a 
claim enforced by temporal power ? A claim hav- 
ing its source in an apostle; linked, by its very 
nature, to that old foundation upon which Christ 
promised to tuild His Church ; or a claim traceable 
to no higher date, and connected with no purer 
source, than a corrupt son of the race of Tudors ? 

Pressed by such an alternative, who can wonder 
that my mind became predisposed to yield to the 
claim of the Holy Roman See ? 

2. To this was added a further consideration. 
I cast my eye over the history of mankind, and 
found that every association, from the most widely- 
spread kingdoms to the narrowest circle of friend- 
ship, was blessed with a head; that the very instincts 
of our nature seemed to lead to this every where 
as necessary to secure unity of purpose and action. 
I contemplated the Church of God ; a society, not 
only made up of persons brought together out of 
all societies, but under the solemn necessity of be- 
ing and remaining so perfectly joined together, as 
to " speak the same things, and to be of the same 
mind and same judgment ; " thus " keeping the 
unity of the spirit in the bond of peace,** And I 
asked myself, " If it be reasonable, that a society, 
whose unity is to be the closest in the world> should 

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be composed of creattires of the world, and called 
to act in the world, and upon tiie world, and still 
be the only body in the world without a distinct, 
governing head ? " The thing appeared to me in- 
consistent - with the uniform wisdom and love of 
God, expressed in the order of His providence, 
and hence not to be admitted as a reality! 

True, it was urged upon me that the Church is 
emphatically a spiritual body, and by its very con- 
stitution, has Christ for its head. To so manifest 
and vital a fact, of course, I could not object ; but 
to my mind it did not meet the difficulty. For I 
perceived the Church to be, not only a spiritual^ 
but a visible, body. EJuit together by visible ties 
— governed by visible laws — exercising visible 
functions — contending with visible enemies — 
maintaining a visible fellowship ; and hence, so far 
as I could see, requiring a visible, ruling authority. 
Now, while our Lord was upon earth, it seemed 
reasonable, that He should, in His own person, 
exercise that authority — be, in the fullest sense, 
our head — be both spiritually and visibly " our 
prophet, priest, and king." But after His ascen- 
sion, I could see no way of perpetuating the visible 
part of that authority, but by a visible representa- 
tive. This was admitted, by most Protestants, to 
have been done in the case of both His prophetical 
and priestly authority. And I could not perceive 
why it should not have been done also in respect 
to His kingly authority. If to express and insure 
His abiding invisible presence a visible representa 

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tive in the one case was needed, why not_in the 
other? To preserve the Church in her original 
form, and enable her to fulfil her true destiny as 
" the body of Christ," the visible kingly authority 
must, it struck me, be, at least, as essential as any 
other. But this kingly authority, by the very 
nature of it, could be represented by a single per- 
son only at a time. That while the prophetical 
and priestly functions might, in the same kingdom, 
be shared by many, the kingly power was obliged 
to be centred in one. I felt, therefore, that be- 
fore entering upon the proof of the fact^ there was 
a strong antecedent probability of its truth, in a 
Church having one Lord, one faith, one baptism ; 
and hence a strong probability, that in casting 
from her the jurisdiction of St. Peter, the English 
Church had cast from her the institution of God. 

3. This was not all. As a fact, I saw the pri- 
macy of St. Peter standing before me. A Bishop 
of Rome was actually exercising jurisdiction over 
the whole Catholic Church, as a successor in the 
see of that Prince of the Apostles, and as a matter 
of history had been exercising it since the infancy 
of the Christian Faith. Every description of ad- 
verse power had been leagued against it, and every 
sort of stratagem been employed for its overthrow ; 
still this centre of jurisdiction stood. Surrounding 
Patriarchates had been consumed by heresy or 
broken in pieces by time,* but this stood. King- 

* See an able discussion of this point by Robert Belaney, M. A., late Vicai 
of Arlington, ^., in a letter to the Anglican Bishop of Chichester. 

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dom after kingdom had been swept into oblivion 
from its side, yea, from its very embrace, yet this 
stood in all the vigor of its maturity, ftilfilling its 
original functions, and wielding a power, greater, 
perhaps, in its moral character, than at any former 
period. Now, how could I account for this fact 7 
The question was deeply solenm, and demanded of 
me a solemn answer. To say that, by impercepti- 
ble gradations it arose to this giant height, would 
be, to my mind, asserting, from the very nature of 
the thing, an impossibility. For I could see no 
gradations between the power allowed and the 
power claimed, — no steps across that wide chasm 
which separates patriarchal from universal jurisdic- 
tion ! To say that, at some imguarded moment, 
the Church had allowed this power to spring into 
existence, would not satisfy a mind already wearied 
with assertion and demanding unquestionable his- 
torical proof. But no such proof had been oflFered. 
And as to mere presumption, it was utterly against 
the idea. To suppose such an enormous power to 
have been unlawfully assumed (when the assump- 
tion must have touched the very quick of human 
pride and ambition throughout the world), and 
without leaving a single trace of the fact in history, 
would, to say the least, hardly be expected to meet 
the demands of a disturbed and wakeful mind; 
particularly as sucK assumption had never been 
charged by any of all the turbulent spirits, who, 
for heresy, or other cause, were, in early times, 
thrown off from the Catholic Church by means of 

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this very prerogative of the See of St. Peter.* 
Be it recollected, however, that I here speak of the 
origin, by assumption, of this universal jurisdiction. 
That in its exercise, at various periods, it caine 
into collision with kings and other temporal pow- 
ers, my mind fully admitted ; but I perceived that 
the fact only gave additional strength to my posi- 
tion, by showing that if this power of the Roman 
See so often, in its steady spiritual progress through 
the world, stirred up against itself the wrath of 
princes, how much more was it likely to have done 
So in the outset of an attempt to ^^ lord it over 
God's heritage " (on the principle that it was origi- 
nally an assumption), and hence how much more 
may we expect to find a record of the strife for 
•which we look in vain. 

In case, therefore, that I continued to resist the 

* I am indebted to the invaluable labors of Cardinal Maius, to which I 
have alluded in a note at p. 172, for a remarkable testimony of an adversary 
to the Supremacy of the Holy See. Ben. Assali, a monophysUe heretic, writing 
on the famous Arabic JV^cene Canoruy gives the one relating to that See as 
teaching the true doctrine concerning it. The words are as follows : " Sicut 
patriarcha imperio et auctoritate ergo sibi subjectos prsditus est, ita Rotim 
Doniinus auctoritate erga omnea patriarchas poUet ; quoniam ipse primus est, 
tamquam Petrus ; quatenus hie videlicet auctoritate super omnes Ghristiani- 
tatis pnesules fruebatur et erga multitudinem ex qua ilia conflatur : utpote 
Christ! Domini Nostri successor, populo ejus ecclesiisque propositus,'* " As 
the Patriarch is invested with supreme rule and authority over his subjects, 
80 the Bishop of Rome has a supremacy of jurisdiction over all the patriarchs , 
since he has the primacy of St. Peter, so far as this, viz., that he is to enjoy 
the chief government of all the bishops of the Christian Church, and of the 
members which compose it j so that, as the successor of our Lord, he is 
placed over His Church and people." — Tom. vi. p. 546. 

It will be perceived that I have used this simply as testimony forced from 
an honest heretic who is suffering under the sentence of a power, the just 
authority of which he feels bound to admit. And that I do it without giving 
any opinion as to the genuineness qf the Canon which he cites. 

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jurisdiction of the Apostolic See, I felt bound to 
account to myself for the fact of its existence on 
other grounds than those claimed for it by its sup- 
porters ; and that the burden of proof, under the 
circumstances, rested entirely upon myself. The 
Sovereign, in the full exercise of his kingly prerog- 
atives, is not called upon surely to justify himself 
before every subject who may choose to question 
his authority or place himself in an attitude of 

From this view of the case I went to the written 
Word of God as imderstood and acted upon by the 
primitive Church. 

The first thing that struck me, as connected with 
this subject, was the language of our blessed Lord 
to Simon, upon His introduction to him. *' Thou 
art Simon, the son of Jonas, but thou shalt be 
called Cephas, (or Peter, or Rock.) " — St. John 
i. 35-42. The purpose of this change of name (a 
name which the Divine Head of the Church had 
hitherto appropriated to Himself *) became mauifest 

♦ Isaiah xxviii. 16 j Pa. cxvii. 22 ; Dan. ii. 35 ; Zach. iii. 9 ; Ep. ii. 20. TJiia 
change of Simon's name is significantly mentioned by the first three Evange- 
lists. St. Matthew says : " The first, Simon, who is called Peter ^ (or rock.) " 
St. Mark says : " To Simon he gave the name of Petevy or roek.^* St. Luke 
says : »« Simon, whom he also named Pefer, or roek." Concerning this change, 
Tertullian says : " Why did He (our Lord) ca 11 him Peter ? If for the strength 
of his faith, many solid substances would lend him a name from themselves. 
Or was it because Christ is both the rock and the stone ? Since we read He is 
set for a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. And so it was His pleas- 
ure to communicate to the dearest of His disciples, in a peculiar manner j a 
name drawn from the figures of Himself, as 1 cing nearer, I imagine, than one 
drawn from figures not of HimselC" St. Ansbrose says : " Great is the grace 
of Christ, who bestowed almost all His names on His disciples. . . .Christ is 
the Rock, but yet He did not deny the grace of this name to His disciple. 
That he should be Peter, * |lock,* because he has ftom the Rock firm constancjr, 

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when in process of time Jesus said to Mm, on occa- 
sion of his solemn profession of faith : " Thou art 
Peter, (or Cephas), and upon this rock I will huild 
My Churchy and the gates of hell shall not prevail 
against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of 
the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt 
bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and what- 
soever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in 
heaven." — Matt, xvi. 18. These passages viewed 
in conjunction, and with the circumstances under 
which they were spoken, conveyed to my mind 
clearly and almost necessarily these truths. 1. 
That the change of St. Peter^s name from Simon 
to Cephas (Bock), was designed as a preparation 
for the promise afterwards made to him, that the 
Church should be built upon him as the house of 
the wise man is ^' built upon a rock." 2. That 
with such a foimdation the Church would never be 
overcome by its adversaries. 3. That in order to 
enable St. Peter thus to sustain the Church by the 
invisible power of Christ, he was made Christ's 
visible representative, being invested with a pri- 
macy or supremacy of jurisdiction, denoted by 
'^ the keys of the kingdom of heaven '* given him 
by our Lord, which, viewed in . connection with 

Immovable foith." So says Origen : « He said be should be called Peter, 
by allusion to the * Rock,* which is Christ ; that as a man from wisdom ia 
termed wise^ and from holiness holy, so, too, Peter from the Rock." So St 
Leo represents Christ as saying to Peter, " While I am the inviolable Rock, 
the comer stone, who make both one, the foundation, beside which no one 
can lay another : yet thou also art the rotk^ because, by My vtrtiie, thou art 
eetablished so as to enjoy, by j»artieqM<um, the propertie§ wkiek anptemtimr to 
JKi." The above I have taken ai tnnalated by ddai««. 

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Isaiah xxii. 22, and Rev. iii. 7, significantly point 
to the possession of supreme and kingly authority. 

But this natural sense of the passages of Scrip- 
ture, I found confirmed by the uniform and decisive 
voice of the earliest Fathers. I say decisive, as all 
true Anglicans profess to concur with St. Vincent 
of Lerins, that ^'they approve the £aith in two 
ways ; first, by the authority of divine Scripture, 
and then by tradition of the Catholic Church. It 
is necessary (he says) that the interpretation of 
heavenly Scripture be guided according to the one 
rule of the ecclesiastical sense."* 

I turned to Tertullian, and he said : " Was any 
thing hidden from Peter, who was called the rocJc, 
and whereon the Church was built — and who ob- 
tained ^ the keys of the kingdom of heaven,* and 
the power of loosing and of binding in heaven and 
on earth ? " f To Origen, who said : ^^ Observe 
what is said by the Lord to that great foundation 
of the Church, and to the most solid rocTc, upon 
which Christ founded the Church, ^ O thou of little 
faith, why didst thou doubt ? ' " J Who said again, 
*^ That Peter should have something peculiar above 
those (meaning the other disciples) ; this was pre- 

* Ut fidem eram duobus his modis approbent Pnmum divini canonis 
auctoritate, deinde ecclesiie Catholics traditione. . . . Utad imam ecclesiastici 
aensus regulam Scripturs coBlesUa intelligentia dirigatur. Jidv, Hara, n. 

t Latuit aliquid Petrum, cdificandae ecclesie petram dictum, clavis regni 
coeloram conBecutum, et solvendi et alligandi in coelis, et in terris potestatem. 
De Prescript, HmreL n. 22. 

I Ecclesie fundaments et petrs solidissims, super quam Christus funda 
▼it ecclesiam, dec. T. ii. Horn. v. in Ezod. n. 4. 

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viously ordained separately re&pecting Peter ; thus 
I will give to THEE the keys of the kingdom of 
heaven; and truly, if we sedulously attend to 
the Gospel writings, even in them we may discover, 
even in regard to those things which seem to be 
common to Peter, and to those (the other disciples), 
much difference and preeminence in the words 
spoken to Peter beyond those spoken to in the 
second place." * To St. Cyprian, who said : " Her- 
self (the Church) was founded first and alone by 
the voice of our Lord upon Peter." f ^^ First to 
Peter, upon whom He built the Church, and from 
whom He instituted and showed that unity should 
spring ; J the Lord gave this power that that should 
be loosed in heaven which he should have loosed 

on earth." Who said again : ^^ Whither shall 

he come that thirsteth ? To heretics, where the 
fountain and river of water is noway lifegiving — 
or to the Church, which is one, and was by the 
voice of the Lord founded upon one, who also re- 
ceived the keys thereof ?"§ To St. James of 
Nisibis, || who said : " Simon, the head of the 
Apostles Our Lord received him, and made 

* Kal tv TovTOts eZpoinev liv koI Karb. ra0ra ra SoKOVpra tlvai koivcl Trpdj 
rdv itirpov koX tov^ rpU vovBer^aavras rovs d6eX<j>ovij voW^v Siai^opav, koL 
txspoxhv Ik r<av vpdg rdv Uirpov eipnuivav irapa rovs iivripovs* T. iii. in 
Matt. Tom. xiii. n. 31. 

t Ipsa prima et una super Petrum Domini voce iUndata. 

X Nam Petro primum Dominus, super quem ffidificavit ecclesiam, et unde 

imitatis originem instituit et ostendit potestatem istam dedit Epi 

bcxiiu ad Jubaian, 

$ auae una est, et super unum, qui et clavis ejus accepit, Domini voce fun- 
data est, dec— /iui. 

II Who sat in the great Council of Nicca. 




him the foundation, and called him 'the rock* of 
the edifice of the Church." — Orat vii. De Pcenit. 
n. 6. To St. Hilary, who said : " The Son of God 
took up Peter, to whom He had just before given 
the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and upon 
whom He was about to build the Church,* against 
which the gates of hell should never prevail, who, 
whatsoever he should bind or loose on earth, should 
be bound and loosed in heaven.** To St. Cyril of 
Jerusalem, who said : *' In the power of the same 
Holy Spirit, Peter also, the foremost of the Apos- 
tles, and the keybearer of the kingdom of heaven,t 
healed -3Eneas, the paralytic, in the name of 
Christ.** To St. Gregory of Nyssa, who said: 
** The memory of St. Peter, the head of the Apos- 
tles, is celebrated. . . .For he is, agreeably to the 
gift conferred on him by our Lord, that unbroken 
and most firm ' rock,* upon which the Lord built 
His Church.*' J To St. Gregory of Nazianzum, 
who writes, '^ Seest thou that, of the disciples of 
Christ, all of whom were great and deserving 
of His choice ; one is called a rock, and is intrusted 
with the foimdations of the Church?" and again, 
" Peter became the unbroken 'rock,* and had the 
keys delivered to him.** § To St. Basil, who said 

Y Super quem ecclesiam ledificatunis ent — Tract in Ps. cxzzi n. 4. 

t UpurroaTdrijs rwv diroaroXoiif Koi ms 0a<TiXe(as r&v ovpavcov KXtidovxos 
irpa)ro<rrdri7f X— The word translated /oremo«t, is used three times by St. Cyril/ 
and implies, says a learned writer and critic, " the chief and Prince.** CaL 

X MvfiiiovsCeTat irirpof 17 KS^aXii rav airoardXav, , ,ovto5 ylkp iari Kara rnv 
ioSstaav aira vapa rov Kvptov 6<»}psov 17 appaxvs koI oxvpotTarri wirpa, i^' /J, 
Hiv CKKXriffiav b "Euyrfip (OKoSonnds, 

$ 'O nbv rirpa icaXctrai, KaX rovi BefttiXiovs riis SKKXriatas vtctivtrai 
T. i. or. xxvi. 

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** One of these mountains was Peter, upon which 
rock Christ promised to build His Church."* 
And again ; " That blessed Peter, who was pre- 
feiyed (ngoxgWelg) before all the disciples ; who 
alone received a greater testimony and blessing 
than the rest ; he to whom were intrusted the keys 
of the kingdom of heaven." — T. ii. p, i. Proam. 
de Judic. Dei, n, 7. To St. Epiphanius, who said, 
^^ The blessed Peter was the chiefest of the Apos- 
tles, who became unto us truly a ^ firm rock,' upon 
which is based the Lord's faith, upon which ^ rock * 
the Church is every way built," f &c. To St. Am- 
brose, who said, " ' Thou art Peter, and upon this 
rock I will build my Church, and to thee will I 
give the keys,' &c. How, could He not confirm 
His faith, unto whom, of His own authority. He gave 
the kingdom, and whom, when He styled a ' rock,' 
He pointed out the foundation of the Church ? " { 
To St. Jerome, who said, " In accordance with the 
metaphor of a ^ rock ' is justly said to him (Peter), 
I will build my Church on thee.** — T. vii. 1. iii. 
in St Matt To St. Chrysostom, who said, ^^ When 
I name Peter, I name that unbroken ' rock,' that 
firm foundation, that great apostle, that first of the 
disciples. . ." — T. ii. 1. i. in Ep. ad Galat To St. 
Asterius : '* The only begotten as is said in the 

♦ "E^' ijj Koi vtrpos IntiyyetXaro h icepios oiKoionn<Tttv aitrtn rhv «*kX»?- 
ffiav. T. L p. it Comm. in Isai., c. ii. n. 66. 

t Kopv^aidraroi rtov dvoardXcoVf 5y ylj/ovev finev dXi/do); oreped virpa 
$epsXiovffa rriv irUiv rov KvptoVf l^' ^ SiKoS6ntiro h SKKXri<r(a Kara fravra rpo* 
nov, — Jtdv, Hmrta. (59). 

X duem cum Petram dicit, firmamentani eeclesis indicavit. T. it L iv. ili 
JFWe, c V. 

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Gospels denominates Peter the Church's founda- 
tion. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will 
build my Church." * 

Here, therefore, I found a consensus of Fathers 
up to Augustine, all interpreting the texts above 
cited, in their natural obvious sense ; making St. 
Peter the ^^ rock," upon which Christ built the 
Church, and ascribing to him, through his posses- 
sion of the keys of ^* the kingdom of heaven," uni- 
versal jurisdiction. 

TJpon going to St. Augustine himself, I found, 
as we shall see hereafter, the strongest claims of 
preeminence for the See of St. Peter. And, in 
one place, an interpretation of Matt. xvi. 18, which 
makes St. Peter the ^^ rock ; " t although subse- 

* Qeiie\tov rov irerpov dvona^si rfls i/cxXijafa;. HomiL in Apost Prin. 
Petr. et Paul, t L 

f T. ii. £p. liii. GenesoBS. Col. 180. " If the order of Bishops succeeding to 
each other is to be considered, how much more securely and beneficially do. 
we reckon from Peter himself, to whom, bearing a figure of the Church, the 
Lord says, Upon tkis rock I will build my Church." See the case of St. A\igua- 
tine ably discussed by Father Passaglia. Here, however, I would further 
observe, that while St. Augustine changed the interpretation of the passage in 
Matthew, he did not change his doctrine. While his wish to use the passage 
against the Arians, and his want of knowledge of the Syrian language, led 
him to an interpretation which favored this wish, he still looked upon St ' 
Peter as the foundation of the Church, and his See at Rome as the necessoi ' 
centre of unity and authority in the Catholic Church. 

Since writing the above, a kind friend has put into my hand the splendid 
edition of the before unpublished works of St. Augustine and other Fathers, 
by that eminent scholar. Cardinal Maius ; from which I cite the followine 
new authority from that Saint : " Most dear brethreuy he u guilty of both err^ ' 
and arimty t^ shall ascribe to the .apostle Peier, that is, to the fouTuUUion of the "^ 
Churchf any thing of unfaithfulness.*^ Fratres carissimi, aut erroris (reus) est 
aut delicti, qui Petro Apostolo, hoc est, ecdesite fundamentOf aliquid infidelitatia 
adscribit. JJugsL Palrum ^ova Bib. Roma. Typ. Sac ConcL Propagand. eh, 
Abo. 185^-3. Serm. Hi. c. 1. inJfatale Sane. Petri This work embraces six 
large quarto volumes of Fathers never before given to the world. 

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quently, I fomid hini applying the term to our 
Lord ; which seemed to me very natural, in a con- 
troversy with the Arians, where his object was to 
show that the true doctrine of the divinity and 
incarnation of Christ lay at the .foundation of his 
Church. And when, too, I observed that thq 
Fathers generally made St. Peter the " rock," sim- 
ply because he became, as Christ's visible represen- 
tative, identified with Him as the chief corner 
stone, and di^ew all his power of endurance, and all 
his ability to sustain the Church from Christ's pres- 
ence with him. Hence the beautiful and striking 
words of St. Leo : " That which the Truth ordered 
remains; and blessed Peter persisting in that 
strength of the rock which he received, has not 
deserted the guidance, once undertaken, of the 
Church. Por thus was he set before the rest, that 
while he is called the Bock, while he is declared 
the foundation, while he is appointed the door- 
keeper of the kingdom of heaven, while he is ad- 
vanced to be judge of what shall be bound and 
what loosed, with the condition that his sentence 
shgjl be ratified even in heaven, we might learn 
through the very mysteries of the names given to 
him, how he was associated with Christ,*^* Thus 
— to cite, even at the risk of apparent repetition of 
an able writer — St. Peter is termed, by St. Hilary, 
" the rock of the Church," — by Tertullian, '' the 
rock of the Church that was to be built," — by St, 

• St Leo, Senn. 3, ** On hia annivenaiy.'* 




Basil, " underlying the building of the Church," 

— by St. Basil again, '^ receiving on. himself the 
building of the Church," — by St. Epiphanius, 
«^the immovable rock," — by St. Augustine, "'Hhe 
rock which the proud gates of hell prevail not 
qgainst," — by Theodoret, " the most solid rock," 

— by Maximus of Turin, " he to whom the Lord 
granted the participation of His own title the rock," 

— by St. Gregory of Nazianzen, " the foundation 
second from Christ," — by Origen, '* the great 
foundation of the Church," — by the Gallicaa 
Sacramentary, "the foundation and basis," — by 
Peter Chrysologus, ^^ founding the Church by his 
firmness," — by St. Ambrose, '^ the support of the 
Church," — by him again, '^ the Apostle in whom 
is the Church's support," — by St. Chrysostom, 
" the support of the faith," — by St. Philip, " the 
pillar of the Church," — and by an authority suf- 
ficient to terminate all controversy, the great Coun- 
cil of Chalcedon, " the rock and foundation of the 
CathoHc Church, and the basis of the Orthodox 

Now, when I discovered so unanimous and de- 
cided a voice among the Fathers of five centuries 
after Christ, in favor of making the " rock " (Matt, 
xvi. 18.) St. Peter, and ascribing to him the powers 
couched under the metaphors of that passage ; and 
when I recollected the reverence which I had al- 
ways been taught to accord to these Fathers, it 

* For the above references, see Passaglia, p. 400. 

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seemed to me something worse than presumptioxi 
to withhold my concurrence. 

There is another passage, however, which, in the 
course of my examination, I found great stress laid 
upon, by these same Fathers. It is that in which 
St. Peter seems to be made our Lord's representa- 
tive, as chief pastor or shepherd of His flock. 
When our Lord, on one occasion had been speak- 
ing of Himself '^as theXjood Shepherd, giving His 
life for the sheep," he made reference to the time, 
after His ascension, when the Gentiles should be 
brought into His Church, and concluded His speech 
with these remarkable words, and '' there shall be 
one fold and one shepherd." The " fold " was cer- 
tainly to be visible. But a visible fold would re- 
quire, in my view, a visible shepherd. Christ, 
however, had ascended ; who, then, as chief shep- 
herd, was to be His visible representative over His 
"one ''visible "fold?" 

The following instructions* of our Lord ap- 
peared to me to answer this question: 

" When, therefore, they had dined, Jesus saith 
to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, lovest thou 
me more than these ? He saith to Him, Yea, Lord, 
Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith to him, 
feed my lambs. He saith to him again, Simon, son 
of John, lovest thou me ? He saith to Him, Yea, 
Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith 
to him, feed my lambs. He saith to Hm the third 

• St John xxL 15-17. "1 

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time, Simon, son of John, lovest thou me ? Peter 
was grieved because He said to him the third time, 
lovest thou me ? And he said to Him, Lord, Thou 
knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love 
Thee. He saith to him. Feed my sheep." Here, 
to my mind, our Lord conferred upon St. Peter 
the chief pastorship. For he was not only to feed 
the "lambs," — young Christians — but also the 
** sheep" all the flock — ministers and people. Or 
as St. Ambrose expresses it, **that the one more 
perfect might govern the more perfect." — (Per- 
fectores ut perfectior gubemaret.) Or, as our Lord 
expresses it : " Thou being converted confirm thy 
brethren." And as the office of chief pastor seemed 
to me more than any other to need a double por- 
tion of that '* charity which suffereth long and is 
kind;" which could take the lambs in its arms 
and " gently lead those that are with young ; " I saw 
a peculiar significance and force in the thrice re- 
peated question of our Lord, " Simon, lovest thou 
me ? " Lovest thou me, too, m^re than these, the 
other disciples ? " Peter was grieved," exclaims 
the holy Ambrose, '* because he is asked the third 
time, Lovest thou me ? For he is questioned, who 
is doubted. The Lord does not doubt ; and He 
inquires, not to kam, but to teach, (now that He 
is about to be raised to heaven) whom He was 
leaving unto us, as it were, the vicar of His own 
love. (Amoris sui nobis, velut vicarium relinque- 
bat.) For thus you have it, Simon, son of John, 
lovest thou me ? Yea, Lord, Thou knowest that 

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I love Thee. Jesus saith tinto him. Feed my 
sheep. . .Who else could readily make this profes- 
sion for himself? And, therefore, because he alone 
amongst all makes this profession, he is preferred 
before all (Omnibus antefertur). For love is 
greater than aK. ..And he is not ordered, as at 
first, to feed His lambs ; nor His younger sheep, 
as in the second, but His sheep, that the one more 
perfect may rule the more perfect." — T. i. Eoopos. 
in Lite. L X. n. 175. 

On looking further into the Fathers, therefore, I 
was not surprised to find Tertullian affirming, that 
*^when the chief direction, as regards the feeding 
of the sheep, was delivered to Peter, on whom, as 
on the earth, the Church is founded.* Of no other 
virtue was the confession required than that of 
love.'*—T. iv. lib. 5, in Ep. ad Rom, n. 10. 

Also St. Cyprian, saying, ** Peter also to whom 
the Lord commends His sheep to be fed and 
guarded, on whom He laid and founded the 
Church,t says that gold and silver he has none, 
but declares that he is rich in Christ's grace." 
Also St. Epiphanius, saying, *^He (Peter) heard 
firom that same God, Feed my lamhs; to him was 
intrusted the flock, he leads the way admirably in 
the power of his own Master." % — T. ii. In Anchor. 

* Petro cam Bimuna rerum de pascendis oYibua traderetur, et super ipsum, 
yelut super terrain, flindaretur ecclesia. 

t Patrus etiam cui oves suas D<»ninu8 pascendas tuendas, que commendat, 
.uper quern posuit et fiindavit ecclesiam. 

X O wsKiceviiivoi riiv votfivriv h koXus bitiytav iv rn ^vy^cc rov iiu9 

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n. 9. Also St. Ambrose, saying, '/ In fine, Peter, 
after having been tempted by the devil, is set over 
the Church,* The Lord, therefore, foreshadowed 
what that was (Luke xxii. 31, 32,) that He after- 
wards chose him pastor of His flock. For to him 
He said, 'Thou, when converted, confirm thy 
brethren.' . . . Therefore did Christ also commit to 
Peter to feed His fiocky because He knew his 
/arc."t — ^« i* *» -P'* cxyiiL n. 3. 

Nothing more, therefore, was needed to make it 
certain in my mind, that the Fathers understood 
Holy Scripture, as teaching that our blessed Lord 
invested St. Peter with a primacy or supremacy of 
jurisdiction in His Church, and made him chief 
pastor thereof, and in such a sense as that he is 
the source of all visible authority and of all visible 
unity in the Church, and when acting or t^ching 
as the Church's visible head and representative, is 
to Christ's people an infallible guide to the truth. 
Otherwise, he could not be made Jhe " foundation 
of His Church," so as that *' the gates of hell should 
not prevail against it," — could not be " set over 
it," so as to loose it from sin, could not ^^feed " it, 
so as that it shall be led into all truth, and nour- 
ished up unto everlasting life ! 

Li truth I could not see how it should be possi- 
ble for an honest Anglican, who, as all Anglicans 
profess, took the word of God as interpreted by 

* Petras eccIesisB prsponitur. 

t Ante significat Dominus quid sit illud, quod postoa eum Pastoiem elegit 
Dominici gngis. T. i. in Ps. xL n. 30. 

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**the authority of Catholic tradition," to come 
to any other conclusion! 



That no regular treatise on the Primacy of St. 
Peter, no labored defence of his prerogatives, should 
be found in the records of the early Church, was' 
to me no matter of surprise. A thing that stands 
before the world as a fact, and is acknowledged in 
the every-day acts of the Christian, is not likely, I 
thought, to be drawn into dispute, and hence to 
require explanation or defence. In a Christiaa 
nation, a treatise or sermon on the Being of a God 
is generally considered out of place. Indeed, the 
more notorious a truth, the less, in most cases, is 
said about it. To find, therefore, at this day, a 
labored attempt professedly on the part of some 
Fathers of the first centuries to prove or justify the 
papal supremacy, would, to my mind, be rather 
a suspicious circumstance. The want, therefore, 
of very abundant documentary proof, sometimes 
pleaded against the claim, I could only regard as 
favorable to it ; just as I had, all my life, in regard 
to the claims of episcopacy, or of any thing else 
in the Church which stood before it as a fact, or 

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entered into its order and discipline. I felt^ toOj 
that this position is strengthened by the fact^ that 
for three centuries at least after Christ, almost un-> 
ceasing persecution would necessarily have the 
effect, as I have mentioned above, to make records 
of all Christian facts and truths exceedingly rare. 

Notwithstanding this, however, I found that the 
Church is in possession of just such proof of the 
primacy of St, Peter as the circumstances of the 
time might be expected to furnish — proof so 
woven into her very being, as to be given out, here 
and there, as she moves along in the fulfilment of 
her holy office, through the generations of men. 
We trace her progress through the days of dark- 
ness and blood, and always find the distinct foot- 
prints of her spiritual guide — the successor of St. 

A few of these only, in comparison with the 
multitude that were opened to my view when ex- 
amining the question, can I now submit to my old 
Mends, at the same time referring them to the mas- 
terly work of Father Passaglia, the substance of 
which has recently been presented in an English 
dress, with some strong additional points, by Mr. 
Allies, in his book entitled St. Peter, Hig Name 
AND Offices. 

Already have I exhibited to you a sufficient ab- 
stract of the scriptural basis as imderstood by the 
Fathers, on which I perceived the claims of the See 
of St. Peter to rest with all reasonable security. 
The final question is, are these claims good in all 

gitized by Google 


ages, and was the English Chxirch con\piitted to 
them in the beginning, and did it continue to be up 
to the Reformation ? 

1. In the Jirst place, the grounds on which the 
Fathers urge these claims made them necessary, in 
my view, for all- Christians during all time. I 
shall select the one which was irresistible with my- 
self,— !Z%e preservation of Unity in the Church, 
and the perpetuation of its blessings. This unity 
I found to be twofold, or, like all sacraments, to 
consist of two parts, " an outward visible sign and 
an inward spiritual grace," the first part being in- 
strumental to the second. Now the " inward spir- 
itual grace" of unity is made to depend solely 
upon Christ the Head of the Church, " which is 
His body." Through His Incarnation, I was 
taught, by His Word and by His Church, that He 
linked Himself to our nature. So that when we 
•are baptized into Him, we become new creatures 
in Him, are " ingrafted into Him as the branch is 
ingrafted into the vine," are all ^^made partakers 
of His One Spirit." * Now, as our Spiritual Head, 
— the Divine Source of Unity, — Christ is to main- 
tain His relation to us io the end of the world. 
For this He has promised, "Lo, Jam with you all 
days." But to fulfil this promise of invisible com- 
munion with us. He appointed a visible instru- 
mentality to act in His " stead." ^* A single Priest- 
hood," as said a holy Father f fifteen himdred and 

* See Passaglia and Allies on this point, 
f Symmachus, Bishop of Rome. 




fifty .years /igo, ** whose power is one and indivisi- 
ble." For although " He gave some apostles, some 
prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and doc- 
tors," yet it was by perfect oneness of action to 
effect one great purpose, viz., '* the edifying of the 
body of Christ, till we all meet into the unity of 

faith unto a perfect man, imto the measure 

of the age of the fulness of Christ That hence- 
forth we be no more children, tossed to and fro, 
and carried about with every wind of doctrine. 
But doing jthe truth in charity, we may in all things 
grow up in Him who is the head, even Christ.*^ 

I saw at a glance, therefore, how vital to each 
individual soul was the unity of the Church — and 
hence how deeply each soul, even to the end of 
time, must be concerned in the preservation of this 
unity. For I saw it consisted, not merely in an 
absence of outward commotion — in a quiet state 
of things^ on the principle of ** agreeing to differ ; " « 
but that it consisted in being of ^^ one heart and 
one mind," not merely in speaking the same things, 
but in being perfectly joined together in the same 
judgment, thus constituting a fellowship, called by 
the Church "the Communion of Saints." Now to 
insure this, I perceived that it was all made to 
spring from one fountain head — Christ Jesus. 
But this, being invisible, was not enough for a vis- 
ible Church. Hence, after Christ's ascension, the 
continuance of a visible centre of unity, not only 
seemed necessary to bind us to ^* the one Lord, one 
Faith, one baptism," but also actually appeared, as 

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I found, by the institution of Christ and testimony 
of His Church, in the person first, and then the 
See of St. Peter. 1st. He was identified with !Z%e 
One Lord. *^ We learn," says St. Leo, '^through 
the very mysteries of the names given him, how he 
was associated with Christ.*' * 

**The blessed Peter ceases not to preside over 
his own See, and he enjoys a never-ceasing fellow- 
ship with the everlasting priest (Christ).'* 

*^He," says St. Augustine, "who would have 
part with Christ, must be in communion with Pe- 
ter." (Communicet Petro qui vult partem habere 
cum Christo.) — Tom. vi._p. 546, Card. Mains. Ed. 
These are the last words of the sermon, according 
to the Vatican Manuscript. 

Hence St. Cyprian, as we have seen, says, that 
the first reason why our Lord built the Church on 
Peter, was to show whence He had *^ appointed 
unity to spring." Or, as he says again, " For an 
original and principle of unity." f Or, as St. Op- 
tatus says a little after, ^* It is well known that St. 
Peter established the chair at Rome, and the chair 
is one, that so all might preserve unity by union 
with it, that whosoever should establish another 
should be considered a schismatic and a transgress- 
or." J If St. Peter, therefore, be so identified 

* Reference already giyen. 

t ** Una ecdesia a Christo Domino super Petrom origine onitatis et ratkme 

X Igttur negare non potes, scire te in tube Roma Petro primo cathedram 
Episcopalam esse collatam in qua sederit onmium apostdionim eaput Petrus , 
unde et Cephas appellatus est; in qua una cathedra unitas ab omnibus sei 

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with the presence of our Lord on earth as to be the 
spring or necessary centre of our union with Him^ 
in the time of St. Cyprian and St. Optatus, upon 
what ground, I asked myself, can we safely sup- 
pose that he will not continue to be this spring or 
centre to "the consummation of the world ? ** 2. 
Again, St. Peter I found identified with " the one 
Faiih.*^ So that all who would have evidence of 
holding that *^ one Faith,** must be in communion 
with him. " Hence," declares the Council of 
Chalcedon, " he (St Peter) is the basis of the Or- 
thodox Faith.'' And Tertullian: "The chief au- 
thority as regards the feeding of the flock was de- 
livered to Peter." And St. Cypriaa: "To him 
(Peter) He (Christ) assigns His sheep to be fed.'' 
And St. Epiphanius : " He (Peter) was aided by 
the Father, so as to be the foimdation of the secu- 
rity of the Faith.* To him was intrusted the 

flock." " For in every way," continues he, *' was 
the Faith confirmed in him who received the keys 
of heaven." And again : " He became unto us 
truly a firm rock, upon which is based the Faith 
of the Lord." And St. Ambrose : " He (Peter) 
was chosen as the Pastor of the Lord's flock. For 
to him He said, * When thou art converted, con- 
firm thy brethren.' " And again : " Peter was, by 
the judgment of the Lord Himself, chosen to feed 

varetur ; nee ceteri apostoli singulas sibi quisque defenderent ; et Jam schis- 
maticuB et peccator esset, qui contra singularem cathedram alteram collbca- 
ret.— De Schism. Donat. L iL n. Si. 

* O Si iraph rdv narpdg cifptXtirOf riiv do<pdMiav rfis wton<t>s 0£/i<A(c3y 
T. ii. in auct. n. 9. 

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the flock, who merited to hear a third time, * Feed 
my lambs, feed my lambs, feed my sheep.' " And 
St. Chrysostom : " Peter, the mouth of the disci- 
ples, the pillar of the Church, the buttress of the 
Faith:' — T. iii. Horn, de Dec. Mill Talent, n. 3. 
I was not surprised, therefore, to hear St. Iraeneus 
declare : " To this Church (the Roman) on account 
of a more powerful principality (or spiritual juris- 
diction), it is necessary that every Church, that is, 
those who are, on every side, faithful, resort, (be- 
cause) in that Church has been preserved 

that tradition which is from the Apostles.*' * Not 
surprised to hear St. Cyprian exclaim, after he had 
declared, that our Lord, "in order to manifest 
unity, has by His own authority so placed the ori- 
gin of that same unity, as that it begins from one 
(St. Peter)." — "He who holds not this unity of 
the Church, does he think that he holds the Faith 1 
He who strives against, and resists the Church, he 
who abandons the chair of St. Peter, upon whom 
the Church was founded, does he feel confident 
that he is in the Church ? " — De Unitate. Bened. 

Thus it appeared to me that the Fathers regarded 
the transmissiorrof the authority of the See of St. 
Peter as identical with the preservation of the true 
Faith. So that, to ascertain who is in possession 

* Ad banc enim ecclesiam propter potentiorem principalitatem necesse est 
omnem convenire ecclesiam, hoc est, eos qui sunt undique fideles, in qua 
semper ab his, qui sunt undique, conservata est que est ab apostolis traditicb 
^Adx. Ogres. 1. iii., c. 3. n. 2. 





of that Faith, it was only needful to inquire who 
is in fellowship with the Apostolic See. 

As a new testimony to this view, I here give a 
passage from St. Augustine, found in Sermon cxx. 
c. 13, published for the first time by Cardinal 
Mains, in 1852: '*Do not suppose that you hold 
to the true Catholic Faith, unless you hold that 
Faith which is preserved at Rome." Non crederis 
veram fidem tenere Catholicae, que fidem non doces 
esse Servandam Bomanam. 

In this striking testimony of the great Augustine 
as to the necessity of adhering to the Faith of 
Kome, in order to be distinguished from heretics 
and schismatics, he has only handed down the 
mark of a Catholic, given by his spiritual father, 
St. Ambrose, who, lib. i. 47, speaking of the true 
test of the orthodoxy of a person, inquires, 
** whether it is not he who is in communion with 
the Catholic bishops, that is, with the Church, of 
Rome" XJtrumnam cum Episcopis Catholicis, hoc 
est, eum Eomana ecclesia conveniret." — See Card. 
Mains. Note to the above citation from St. Au- 

Again, 3. St Peter I found identified with 
*^ the one baptism," or with the forgiveness of sins 
in the Church in whatever Sacrament. Thus in 
TertuUian, " Thinkest thou heaven is still closed ? 
Remember the Lord left here the keys thereof to 
Peter, and through him to the Church." * Thus 

* Memento claves ejus hie Dominum Petro, et per eum, eccIesisB reliquisse. 
Seorpiace, n. x. It was manifest to my mind that both this Father and the 

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in St% Cyprian: "Whither shall he come that 
thirsteth ? To heretics ? or to the Church ? which 
is one, and was by the voice of the Lord founded 
on one, who also received the keys thereof. She 
it is that alone holds and possesses the whole power 
oi her Spouse and Lord.** — J5^. Ixiii. ad Jubaian. 
..." There is one baptism, and one Holy Ghost, 
and one Church, founded by Christ our Lord upon 
Peter, for an original and principle of unity." — Ep. 
Ixx. ad Januar. ..." First, to Peter the Lord gave 
this power, that that should be loosed in heaven 
which he should have loosed on earth.*' — Ep. Ixxiii. 
ad Juh. Thus in Firmilian : '* But how great his 
error, how exceeding his blindness, who says re- 
mission of sins can be given in the synagogues of 
heretics, not abiding on the foundation of the one 
Church which was once established by Christ on a 
rock, — may hence be understood, that to Peter 
alone Christ said, » Whatsoever thou shalt bind on 
earth shall be bound in heaven ; whatsoever thou 
shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.' " 
— Inter Ep. S. Cyp. Ep. Ixxv. Thus, too, in St. 
Hilary, speaking of St. Peter : " A blessed keeper 
of the gate of heaven, to whose disposal are deliv- 
ered the keys of the entrance into eternity ; whose 
judgment on earth is an authority prejudged in 
heaven, so that the things that are either loosed or 
oound on earth, acquire in heaven too a like state 

Fathers generally, held, that from St. Peter, as the visible fountain, the power 
of" binding and loosing" was dispensed to one other disciple, and' is now to 
all the Priesthood in communion with him. 

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of settlement!"* Thus, in St Ephram: "We 
hail thee, Peter, the tongue of the Apostles, the 
voice of the heralds, the eye of the Apostles, the 
keeper of heaven^ the Jirst bom of those who bear 
the Tceysr T. iii. Gr. in SS. Apost. Thus find- 
ing St. Peter the visible source of those gifts in 
the Church which are necessary to all men to the 
end of the world, necessary to make them par- 
takers in ^' the communion of Saints," I could not 
doubt the indispensable importance to myself and 
to all Christians, of union with the Holy See ! 

2. But I discovered further, that the fact of the 
transmission of the power of that See from St. 
Peter to his successors is insisted on by the early 
Fathers. Though convinced of its necessary per- 
petuity from its very character and declared pur- 
pose, I found my convictions strengthened by the 
value put upon it by the primitive Church. 

After having asserted the necessity in his day of 
all churches being in communion with the Church 
of Rome, and having traced the Eoman succession 
of bishops, St. Irenaeus declares : " By this order 
and by this succession, both that tradition which is 
in the Church firom the Apostles, and the preach- 
ing of the truth, have com^ dovm to w«." 

But as I was thus pursuing my search into the 
testimony of the Fathers, a book was put into my 
hand, entitled Theophilus Americamts, which I 

* O beatus cceli janitor cujus, arbitrio clayes stenii aditus traduntur, cujua 
terrestre judicium prsjudicata auctoritas sit in ccdIo ; ut que in tenris aut 
ligata Bint aut soluta, statute ejusdem conditionem obtineant et in cobIo.— 
Com. in St. Matt, c zvi. n. 7. 


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found to b^ a republication by an able American 
Jurist of a work entitled Theophilus Anglicanus, by 
"Chr. Wordsworth, D. D., Canon of "West- 
minster, &c., designed for the Instruction of 
the Young Student concerning the Church." I at 
once turned to the chapter "The Bishop of Eome 
no Supremacy, spiritual or temporal, in the 
Realms," and I was not a Httle surprised to read 
on page 295 the following statement : ^^ And to de- 
scend to St. Peter's successors, it is certain also that 
St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, knew nothing of 
such supremacy in Pope Anicetas ; that Polycrates, 
Bishop of Ephesus, and the Synod of Asiatic bish- 
ops, and St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, and the 
Council assembled in that city, knew nothing of 
such supremacy in Pope Victor ; that St. Cyprian, 
Bishop of Carthage, and the African Bishops, knew 
nothing of it in Pope Stephanus ; that St. Augus- 
tine and the bishops of Africa knew nothing of it 
in Popes Zosimus and Boniface ; and that the 
Bishops of Eome themselves, for siX: hundred 
YEARS, were so far from knowing any thing of such 
supremacy as residing in themselves or in any one 
else, that Pope Gregory the First denounced the 
title universal Bishop as arrogant, wicked, schis- 
matical, blasphemous, and anti-Christian." I say 
I was not a little surprised at this statement, as my 
impressions, from a general view of the Fathers, 
were totally different. Still the source, both in 
England and America, from which the statement 
proceeded, was too respectable not to claim my 


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serious attention. Humbly, and with prayerful 
desires to know the truth, I applied to it such at- 
tention ; I now submit the results to the candid 
judgrnent of my old friends. Before I proceed, 
however, I must say that I felt bound at the time 
to settle in my mind a distinction insisted on by 
the learned author, between Supremacy and Prima- 
cy. And here the task was not difficult, inas- 
much as it seemed to me to matter little by what 
name you characterize a power or dignity, which 
gives, by divine institution, to its possessor imiver- 
sal jurisdiction, as in the case of St. Peter and his 
successors, and makes individual submission to it 
necessary to the enjoyment of the blessings of 
Christ's kingdom. You may call that Apostle Pri- 
mils inter pares, or Summus supra inferioresy or any 
thing else, if you only make him what Christ made 
him and the Fathers ascribed to him, the founda- 
tion of the Churchy and the ever-living visible head 
to which all must be united, who would live imto 
Christ, and* be found in Him when He comes to 
judge the world. 

And now for the statement of Dr. Wordsworth : 
What first struck me was the positiveness which 
characterized this statement, " It is certain,^' says 
he, and that, too, in regard to a negative thing 
^^ It is certain *' that St. Polycarp and the others 
named ^^ knew nothing " of the supremacy. Now, 
I had been led to suppose that, taking the small 
number of documents of that early age. Church 
historians did not regard the absence of proof in 

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any particular case^ on a particular pointy as mak- 
ing it ^^ certain *' that that point was not true, pro- 
vided it had in its feivor the general current of 
testimony ! Hence I could see no reason why, if the 
cases of St. Polycarp, Irenaeus, and some others 
stood alone, there should be " uncertainty " in re- 
gard to them. But when I found them linked with 
other cases, yea, the principle that seemed to govern 
them, prominent and uniform in its operation 
throughout the Catholic Chxirch of that early time, I 
felt that there was a very high degree o{ probability, 
if not certainty, that Dr. Wordsworth is in error. 
1. The case of St. Polycarp and St. Irenaeus. 
And here, I hope, I may be allowed the reiAark, 
that the question with me was not, whether St. 
Polycarp, St. Irenaeus, and the others believed in 
the infallibility,, URiei all circumstances, of the 
Bishop of Rome, (for this I felt confident that no 
Catholic holds,) but it was whether they acknowl- 
edged the supremacy of his jurisdiction!* I 

* ** Here let as observe," says Cardinal Wiseman, " wbat is meant by 
obeying whatever he (the Pope) sliall teach or appoint. It is not to be under* 
stood that we believe, by any means, that he has it in his power to create any 
neto doctrine for the Church, or appoint any thing to be believed which was 
not believed before ; not even that, according to the universally received doc- 
trine of the Church, be has the power of pronouncing infallibly upon what is 
believed in the ChOrch ; but simply that it is his duty, the moment an error 
arises, to investigate and examine what is the belief of the Church upon the 
point, to give an answer regarding it, and, according to the dogma of tb^ 
Church, if the whole of the Church — the bishops constituting it— should 
accede to that decision, the decision is considered necessarily as the voice of 
the Church, and consequently the infallible teaching of God. But, as I ob- 
served betore, it can only be as to a matter , whether such doctrine hath always 
been taughtf and whether it is actually taught through the universal Church, that 
this inquiry is directed ; the power is never exercised for the creation of a single 
Mio optnion, for imposing upon the facUk tff the CathoUc one single new doetrimt 

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hardly need say that the question which disturbed 
the peace of the Church at the time was simply 
one of usage, which related to the time of keeping 
Easter. In regard to this question. Pope Anicetus 
had made some demands upon the Churches of the 
East, and enforced them by a threat of excommu- 
nication, and also Pope Victor. Now, to me, it ap- 
peared reasonable that if these Churches denied 
the jurisdiction of the See of Rome, that, instead of 
endeavors to change the judgment of that See, 
they would have questioned its authority to judge 
— would have charged it with usurpation. When, 
therefore^ I discovered that both St. Polycarp and 
St Irenseus repaired to the Eoman See * as to the 

which kas notf tiU then, been universally receioed." ^Wiseman^s Lectures en Doc- 
trines, 4r^, p. 168. 

In reference to tbe question of the source of infallibility in the Catholic 
Church, about which some difference of opinion, I believe, has existed, I found 
advantage was taken of it to meet the charge of disagreements among Protes- 
tants, — as if the character or effect of the differences was in each case alike ! 
Now the differences among Protestants pertain to the most vital articles of 
faith, and produce the most radical disagreements in religious practice ; while 
the differences among Catholics, particularly the one about the exact source 
of infallibility in the Church, are matters of mere opinion, which are looked 
upon as indifferent in their character, and as having no effect upon religious 
practice. For example, take the difference of opinion about the exact source 
of infallibility; and what evil proceeds from it? For what possible effect 
upon the doctrine of infallibility can be produced by a difference of opinion 
merely about its source ? Test it by an example. A law of the United States, 
to be binding, must proceed from the House of Representatives, the Senate 
and the President of the Union acting respectively in their proper capacity. 
Now there have been discussions among the people as to the real source of 
the law^naking power, showing a difference of opinion. But did any one 
ever suppose that such difference took from the value of the law, either by 
obscuring its meaning or weakening its sanctions? It struck me, therefore, 
as wholly illogical to cite unimportant differences as an offset to the most 
▼ital ones ! 

* Eusebius, Id. E. V. C. xxiv. Also IrenauSf t L In regard to the Journey 
of St. Ireneus, see St, Jerome, 

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rightfol authority, and wlule they expostulated 
with the Pope, on the ground of expediency, they 
never so much as intimated a doubt of his jurisdicr 
tion; and when, further, I observed that the 
Churches who felt themselves aggrieved actually 
assembled in coimcil at the bidding of the Pope, 
and that, in the case of Pope Victor, St. Irenaeus 
entreated him to withhold from the Churches the 
evil of excommunication, not on the ground that he 
had no right to proceed to this extremity — which 
in their exasperated state was the ground which 
would certainly have been urged, if tenable — but 
simply on the ground of condescending charity. 
Seeing they persisted in their practice, not out of 
self-will, but of attachment to ancient usage,* I 
could not help the conviction, that instead of its 
being ^^ certain" that they knew nothing of the 
supremacy of the See of Rome, they furnished the 
best circumstantial proof that they acknowledged 
it. When, in addition, I reflected upon the strong 
pass^e cited above, in which St. Irenseus urges 
upon all Churches the necessity of resorting to 
Some because of its superior jurisdiction, I felt 
how different are the facts of history from the 
assertions of prejudiced and self-confident minds ! 
% But I was invited on to the case of St Cyprian. 
And here I felt myself at home. This Father had 
been my favorite study for years, and had already 

♦ tQ yenfiv ^ttcropi vpocriicSvTOS fc)5 Ml dvoicSirroi 8^9f €KK\ri<rlaa$e<m 
apxiB^tov iOovs irapd6oaiv iniTtjpowas »Xttaa irepa vapaivtX, Euseb. H. & 
Lc > 




imparted to my mind new^ and at the time dis* 
quieting^ ideas of the powers of the Holy See. 
And whoever will turn back and contemplate, in a 
spirit of candor, the passages cited in a former 
chapter, on this point, must, I have the presump- 
tion to thmk, be convinced that these ideas were 
not altogether baseless. Still I was willing and 
anxious for the sake of truth to reconsider the tes- 
timony of this Father. A particular instance had 
been adduced by Dr. "Wordsworth ; and I was led 
to examine whether it could, by any possibility, be 
80 tortured even as to bear witness against those 
prerogatives which certainly, on all other occasicms, 
the saint had so boldly asserted. But before pro- 
ceeding, I felt bound to record my protest against 
the hgic which would make a dovbtful action in a 
man's life reverse the plain intention of all other 
actions of it ; while common sense all the while 
was requiring the application of the exactly oppo- 
site nile. 

Dr. "Wordsworth says St Cyprian ^^ Tcnew noth- 
ing of supremacy in Pope Stephanus,^^ Let ns 
see what in all honesty are the facts of the case. 
To arrive at these fgicts, I thought it right first to 
consider what he said in other cases. 

In a letter to Antonianus concerning Pope Corne- 
lius, he employs at the beginning such language as 
this : " You wrote that I should transmit a copy of 
the same letter to our colleague Cornelius, that, 
having been relieved of anxiety, he might at length 
know that you communicate with Aim, that is, with^ 

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the Caiholic Church^^* * An expression which will 
be readily understood by those who have attended 
to the repeated declarations of this saint, making 
the chair of St. Peter not only the source of au- 
thority in the Catholic Church, but also her repre- 
sentative. For example, in his letter' to Cornelius 
himself he says, "Peter, on whom the Church 
had been built by the Lord Himself,t one speaking 
for aU, and replying with the voice of the Church, 
exclaims, ^ Lord, to whom shall we goV " Again, 
in the same letter to Antonianus, he makes the 
following reference to Pope Fabian, the predeces- 
sor of Cornelius. Speaking of the election of the 
latter to the See of Borne, he says it occurred 
** when the place of Fabian, that is, when the place 
of Peter, and the ranTc of the sacerdotal chair, 
was vacant." J And again, in his letter to Pope 
Cornelius, he says, ^^ Moreover, after all this, a 
pseudo-bishop having been set up for themselves 
by heretics, they dare to sail and carry letters 
firom schismatics and profane persons to the chair 
of Peter, and to the chief Church, where the unity 
of the Priesthood has hegunJ^ % It seemed to n;e 
clea]^ from these incidental (and on that account 
more forcible) allusions to the chair of St. Peter, 

* Ad Corneliam collegium noetroiii transmitterem m depoeita onrni solicl- 
tudine jam sciret te ««cum, hoc est, cum catholica ecclesia communicare. JE^. 
JL ii. p. 147. 

t Petrus super quern, &c. Ep. LV. as before cited. 

X Cum Fabian! locus, id est, cum locus Petri et gradus Catbedne sacerdo- 
talis vacaret. Ep. LU. ad Antoni. p. 150. 

$ Ad Petri Cathedram, atque ad ecclesiam principalem, unde unitas sacer- 
dotalis ezorta est — Ep. LV. p. 183-3. 

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as in Cyprian's day, holding a peculiar sacerdotal 
rank, and being the fountain of *^ the unity of the 
priesthood," that this sainted martyr regarded tte 
Popes of Rome as having by divine right a certain 
jurisdiction over all other bishops, which all other 
bishops were bound to concede. But the case of 
Pope Stephen was urged by Dr. Wordsworth with 
a view manifestly to cast discredit upon St. Cyp- 
rian's testimony in other cases,. or in reference to 
the question generally. The case, as represented, 
was one of disagreement between this saint and 
that Pope on the subject of the baptism of here- 
tics. That such disagreement existed between Pope 
Stephen and some of the African bishops J knew to 
be certain ; but how far St. Cyprian was involved 
in it I found to be e^^ceedingly doubtful. The fol- 
lowing is a description of it by St. Vincent Lirens, 
whose authority is unquestionable with the Church 
of England. He was speaking of the zeal of the 
Apostolic See in resisting novelties, and continues 
thus : *' Not to be tedious, we shall select one in- 
stance, and this especially from the Apostolic See, 
that aU may see more clearly than in meridian 
light with what energy, with what zeal, with what 
perseverance the blessed successors (beata successio) 
of the holy Apostles have always defended the 
integrity of religion as it was originally delivered. 
Formerly, then, Agriphinus, bishop of Carthage, 
a man whose memory is venerable, was the first to 
maintain that baptism should be repeated, in op- 
position to the divine canon, to the rule of the 

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Universal Church, to the judgment of all his fellow- 
priests, to the custom and decrees of his predeces- 
sors; which presumption was the cause of much 
evil, that it not only gave all heretics a. form of 
sacrilege, but even gave occasion of error to some 
Catholics. When, therefore, all cried out from all 
quarters against the novielty, and all priests in 
every place struggled against it, each according to 
his zeal. Pope Stephen, of blessed memory, who at 
that time was prelate of the Apostolic See, in con- 
iunction, indeed, with his colleagues, but yet more 
than his colleagues, resisted, thinking it fit, as 1 
suppose, that he should surpass all others in the 
devotedness of his faith as much as he excelled 
them by the authority of his station. Finally, in 
the epistle which was then sent to Africa, he de- 
creed in these words : that no innovation Should 


BE RETAINED. What powcr had the African Coun- 
cil or decree ? None, through the mercy of God." 
— Commonit c. viii. 

In this account of the great Vincentius I ob- 
served two things : 1, that he bears a noble testi- 
mony to the superior " authority " of the See of 
Rome ; and 2, says nothing of any collision of St. 
Cyprian with Pope Stephen. And probably for 
the reason .which I found given in a letter by St. 
Augustine to him, " that there were not wanting 
persons who maintained that St. Cyprian did not 
yield to the opinion of Agrippinus ; but that, to 
give it the sanction of his name, the letter and 

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documents were composed under it by presump- 
tuous and deceitful men.*' * Here I could not help 
contrasting the positiveness of Dr. Wordsworth 
with the doubtfulness of St. Augustine, and feeling 
some little wonder how the former, at this distant 
period, should be so much better informed on the 
point than the latter, who lived so near the time 
But St. Augustine continues, in reply to the Dona- 
tists r " Cyprian either did not think at all, as you 
repreiJent, or he afterwards corrected his error by 
the rule of truth ; or he covered this blemish, as it 
were, of his own fair breast, with the abundance of 
charity, while he defended most eloquently the 
unity of the Church, spread over the whole world, 
and held most steadfiistly the bond of peace. " f ^^ 
referring to his martyrdom, St. Augustine remarks 
*^ 1 think that the bishop Cyprian may, without any 
insult to himself, be compared with the Apostle 
Peter, as far as regards the crown of martyrdom 
But I ought rather to be afraid of being contume 
lious towards Peter. For who knows not that the 
primacy Qprincedom) of the Apostleship is to be 
preferred before any episcopate whatever? But 
although the grace of the chairs is widely different, 
yet one is the glory of martyrs." J From this 1 

* " duamquam non desiret qui hoc Cyprianum prorsus non sensisse con- 
tendant, sed sub ejus nomine a presumptoribus atque mendacibus futsse con< 
fectum." — Ed. xciii. ad Vincent Rog.£. 38, p. 346, Tom. ii. Ed. Ven. 

f Porro autem Cyprianus, aut non sensit omnino quod eum senisse recita- 
tis ; aut hoc poetea correxit in regula veritatis, aut hunc quasi naevum sul 
candidiasimi pectoris cobperuit ubere caritatis dum unitatem ecclesise toto 
orbe crescentis, et copiosissime defendit, et perseverantissime tenuit ?incu* 
lum pacts. — p. 347, ad Vinct. 

|^Q,ui8 eoim nescit ilium apostolatus frmctpaLum cuilibot episcopatul pns. 

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became convinced that, even if the disagreement^ 
between St. Cyprian and Pope Stephen were such 
as had been represented, it was either maintained 
on the part of that martyr in perfect consistency 
with his known reverence for the controUing au- 
thority of the See of Eome, or was so repented of 
as that he died in communion with that See, as did 
also the other contending bishops of Africa, if we 
may trust St. Jerome. " St. Cyprian," says that 
father, " endeavored to shun pits that were bro- 
ken, and not to drink of the waters of others ; and 
on that accoimt, reprobating the baptism of heretics, 
forwarded the African Synod, on this subject, to 
Stephen, then bishop of the Eoman city, the twenty- 
KLxth from blessed Peter ; but this effort proved fruit- 
less. Finally, those very bishops who with hinr 
had determined that the heretics should be rebap- 
tized, turning back to the ancient custom, issued a 
new decree,^^ — Dial. Contr. Lrndf, 

In short, I discovered that in the whole of this con- 
troversy, even admitting that all proceeded from 
the pen of St. Cyprian which is ascribed to it, 
nothing was said even by himself or associates 
which implied an assumption or overestimate of 
jurisdiction on the part of Pope Stephen, but only 
an indiscreet use of lawful prerogatives.* Instead 
of any resistance of the claim of jurisdiction made 
by the Koman See, I found every litigated question 

ferendum ? Bed et si diatat cathedrarum gratia una est tamen gloria mar^- 
rom. ~T. ix. I. iu D» Baptigm. contra DonaL n. L coL 183. Or, propter prt- 
malum quan in discipuUs habuit. — T. iv. Enar. in Ps. cviiL n. L 
* £p. Fiimiliani inter Cyprian. — Tom. iiL p. 265, Ed. Wirceburg. 

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referred to its judgment as by divine arrangement. 
St. Cyprian himself, in respect to Martianus, en- 
treats this very Pope Stephen to interfere for the 
preservation of discipline : " Let letters be addressed 
from TUEE — (but why from Stephen^ the blamed 
Stephen, if his (Cyprian's) own authority was 
equal ?) — be addressed from thee to the province 
and the people of Aries ^ wrHEiiEBY Martianus, Being 
excommunicated,* another may be substituted in 
his room " — a request which, in my view, implied 
some Jcnowledge, on the part of St. Cypnan, of 
supremacy in Pope Stephen, as the act requested, 
to be lawful in the dioceses of other bishops, must 
have been an act of supremacy. 

Here the farther case of St. Augustine was pre- 
sented. ^^He and the bishops of Africa knew 
nothing," says Dr. "Wordsworth, "of supremacy 
in Popes Zosimus and Bonifece." 

It must be admitted, I thought, that this asser- 
tion falls to the ground, if it should appear that St. 
Augustine, in his writings, maintains, generally, a 
supremacy of jurisdiction in the See of St. Peter. 
I turned to these writings : I read the following : 

" In the Catholic Church the succession of 

priests from the very chair of St. Peter, to whom 
the Lord, after His resurrection, committed his 
sheep to be fed, down even to the present bishop, 
keeps me." — T. iii. Contr. Ep. Fund. Manich. CoL 
269. Again : " That city (Carthage) had a bishop 

* duibus litteris absterrito Martiano, alius in locum ejus substitutur. — Ep> 
IxviL p. 949, Ed. Ven. 

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of no slight authority, who was able not to heed 
the multitude of enemies conspiring against him, 
when he saw himself united by letters of com- 
munion both with the Roman Church, in which 
the primacy of the Apostolic chair has always been 
in force,* and with other lands." — T. ii. Ep. xliii. 
Gloria et aliis Donat, n. 7, Col, 136. I recalled, 
too, his strong words in respect to St. Cyprian : 
" Who knows not that the princedom of the Apos- 
tleship (at Rome) is to be preferred before any epis- 
copate whatsoever." Besides, he seemed to me to 
recognize in one of the Popes (Zosimus) alluded to . 
something more than ordinary authority. " Where- 
as," he writes, " Pelagius and Coelestius, the authors 
of this heresy, were, by the vigilance of the coun- 
cils of bishops in aid of the Savior, who protects 
His own Church, also by two venerable prelates of 
the Apostolic See, Pope Innocent and Pope Zosi- 
mus, condemned, &c." — T. ii. E^. CXC. But 
why single out the popes of Rome in this case of 
discipline, if they had no more jurisdiction than 
other bishops ? To me, therefore, it became quite 
manifest that St. Augustine did recognize in the 
Roman See a preeminent right of jurisdiction? 

And now I was brought to that most extraordi- 
nary assertion of Dr. Wordsworth, that the Popes 
themselves for six hundred years recognized in 
themselves no such right, I say extraordinary ; 
as a few hours search enabled me to verify the fol- 

* Romaiiffi ecdesis, in qua semper apoetoUoe cathedra viguit prmcii«(iu. 

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lowing passage, whioh, to my mind, presented an 
almost continuous series of the most irresistible tes- 
timony to the contrary: 1. I began with Pope 
Julius, who lived early in the fourth century. Be 
wrote on the subject of the Arian disturbances at 
Alexandria, and expostulated thus : ^^ Why were 
we not written to concerning the Church, especially 
of Alexandria ? Or are you ignorant that this hath 
been the custom, first to write to us, and thus what 
is just be decreed from this place 1 * If, therefore, 
y any such suspicion fell upon your bishop there, it 
was befitting' to write to this Church. . .Bear with 
me cheerfully, I beseech you, for what I write is 
for the common weal. For what we have received 
from the blessed Apostle Peter, the same do I make 
Icnown to you, . ." — JEp. ad Eusebian, n, 21. The 
true force of the above passage appeared in the 
fact that this Pope had summoned these Arians to 
Some for triaL ^^It behooved you, beloved, to 
come hither, and not to refuse,t in order that this 
business may be terminated. ' — 15. n. 6. They 
give their pleas for not appearing before him, ur- 
ging want of sufficient notice, (n. 6,) — the state of 
affairs in the East (n. 7) ; and lastly, that the let- 
ter of citation was addressed only to Eusebius and 
his associates (n. 8) ; but, however vain may have 
been their pleas for not coming to Rome, they 
never questioned the authority that summoned 

* *H dyvotiTS 6rt toUtp IBoi ^v vfi&rsfiov yp&<ptoBai ^^f v, xal 5«r«r ivBtv 
hptgeaOai r& SiKata, 
t {^( dvavr^oaif ital itii tapairficaoBat, 

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them; while Athanasius actually obeyed an4 re- 
mained in the holy city for years. Here I asked 
myself. Did Pope Julius know nothing in himself 
of supreme jurisdiction? 

2. I turned to Pope Damasus, who, writing to 
the East at the time of the Coimcil of Ariminum, 
says, ^^ No advantage could arise from the number 
of those who assembled at Ariminum, seeing that 
it is certain that neither the Roman bishop, whose 
opinion ought to have been sought for before all 
others,* nor Vincentius," &c. Again, to the same 
Churches : *^ Most honored children, in that youx 
friendliness bestows on an apostolic chair the rev- 
erence due, you confer the greatest honor on your- 
selves. For although, especially in this holy 
Church, wherein the holy Apostle, sitting, taught 
in what way it beseems us to manage the helm 
which has been put into our hands, yet do we 
confess ourselves unequal to the dignity; but, 
therefore, do we strive in >very way, if it may be, 
that we may be able to attain unto the glory of that 
blessedness. Know, therefore, that long since we 
deposed (or cut off) the profane Timotheus. . .with 
his impious doctrine." f Here, too, I asked my- 
self. Did Pope Damasus really know nothing of 
supremacy in himself? 

3. I turned next to the epistles of Pope Anas- 

* Cujua ante omnes luit expetenda aententia*— Epi L, Sjfnd, OrimUdibus, 
Galland. J. vi. p. 381. 

f On the above epiatle Theodoret remarks, "When the entirely praisewor- 
thy Damasus learned that this heresy bad sprung up, he deposed and ezeom- 
municated, not only Apollinarius, but also Timotheus, his disciple 

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TASius I.^ and read as follows. Speaking of soum 
imputed neglect, he says, " Far be this from the 
Catholic discipline of the Eoman Church As- 
suredly care shall not be wanted on my part to 
guard the faith of the Gospel in my people ; and 
to visit by letter, as far as I am able, Ae members 
of my body, throughout the divers regions of the 
earth, (Partesque corporis mei per spatia diversa 
terrarum,) to prevent any beginning of a pro&ne 
interpretation from creeping in, which may have 
for its object to confound devout minds by spread- 
ing its darkness." Here, too, I put it to my con- 
science. Did Pope An|8tasius know nothing of 
supremacy in himself? 

4. I proceeded to Pope Siricius, and found the . 
following among other testimonies : ** Taking into 
accoimt my office, it is not for me to choose on • 
whom it is incumbent that there be a zeal for the 
Christian religion greater than that of all other 
persons, to dissemble, and remain silent I bear 
the burdens of all who are heavily laden. Yea, 
rather in me that burden is borne by the blessed 
Apostle Peter, who, we trust, in all things protects 
and has regard to us who are the heirs of his gov- 
ernment."* Again: " Let it suffice that £iults havd 
hitherto been committed in this matter ; and now 
let the above-named rule be observed by all priests 
who do not wish to be rent from that solid apostolic 

■* Hae poitat in nobis beatos apostolus Petrus, qui nos in omnibus, ut eon- 
fidimus, adminisaationis sed protegit et tu«tiir liiBnde8.~Ep. L «d Hinei; 
Tanac. Ep. n. 1, p. 533. QaUaad.T.TiL 

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rock upon which Christ constructed the Univbr- 
' SAL Church." * Here, too, I asked myself. Did 
Pope Siricius really know nothing of supremacy 
in himself? 

5. Satisfied with the manifest claim of this pope, 
I next opened the epistles of Pope Innocent I., and 
read, **Let us, therefore, begin with the help of 
the holy Apostle Peter, through whom hoth the 
Apostleship and the Episcopate took their rise in 
CkRiST.f These, then, are the things which it 
behooves every Catholic bishop, having before his 
eyes the judgment of God, henceforward to observe 

that if any causes or contentions arise the, 

dispute be settled, agreeably to the Synod of Nicaea, 
by an assembly of the same province, and that it be 
not lawful for any one [not to the prejudice, how- 
ever, of the Boman Church, to which, in all causes, 
reverence ought to be preserved J] to leave the 
priests, who, by the will of God, govern the Church 
of God, and to have recourse to other provinces. 
But if greater causes be brought forward, let them, 
after the judgment of the bishop, be referred to the 
Apostolic See, as the Synod resolved and blessed 
custom requires, " § — E^. ii. Galland. t. viii. Again : 
** After having caused your letter to be read several 

* Onuiss teneant sacerdotis, qui nolant ab apostolicn Petras, sup«r quam 
Christua universalem construxit ecclesiain, solidate, divelli. — lb. n. 3, p. 534. 

t Perquem at Apostolatus et Episcopatus in Cbristus coepit exordium. 

X The words in brackets are not found in aomt of the ancient manuscripts, 
but are preserved in the best editions. 

$ Ad tedem Apostolicam, sicut sputdua (see Ep. Synod. Concil. Sardic ad 
Julium.) statiut, et beata consuetudo ezlgit, post judicium Episcopate referan. 


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times to me, I noticed that a kind of injury was 
done to the Apostolic See, as unto the head of the 
churches [quasi ad caput ecclesiarium] that state- 
ment was sent, the sentence of that See being still 
treated as doubtful The renewed questioning 
contained in ^our report compels me, therefore, to 
repeat in plainer terms the subject," &c. — Ep, 
xvu. n. 1. Again: " Keeping to the precedents of 
ancient tradition. . .you have. . .established the firm- 
ness of your religion, no less now by consulting me 
than when you formerly passed your sentence ; ap- 
proving, as you have done, of a reference to our 
judgment, knowing what is due to the Apostolic 
See, knowing that all of us who have been placed 
in this position desire to follow that Apostle from 
whom the Episcopate itself and the whole authority 
of this title has been derived. With him for our 
model, we know both how to condemn what is evil 
and approve what is commendable." — Ep. clxxxL 
ad Council. Carthag. Ed, Bened, S. Aug. t. ii. 

Again : ^^ Carefully, therefore, and as was befit- 
^gy do you consult what is the secret wish of this 
Apostolic dignity * (a dignity, I repeat, upon 
which falls, besides those things that are without^ 
the solicitude or care of all the churches) as to what 
opinion is to be held in matters of such m^msnt ; 
having herein followed the pattern of the ancient 
rule, which you, equally with myself, know has 
always been observed by the whole world.f Yea, 
why have you confirmed this by your own act, but 

* Congrue Apoetolici consulitis honoris arcana. 

t Ouam toto aemper ab orbe mecum noetia ease aervatam. 

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that you know that, throughout all provinces, 
answers to questions always emanate from the 
Apostolic spring, especially as often as questions of 
faith are agitated 1 I am of opinion that all pur 
brethren and fellow-bishops ought not to refer hit 
to Peter, that is, to the author of their name and 
honor, even as your, friendliness has now referred 
(to know) what may be the common weal of all the 
Church throughout the whole world* Where- 
fore we do, by the authority of the Apostolic power, 
[Apostolicivigoris auctoritate,] declare Pelagiusand 
Coelestius. . .deprived of the communion of the 
Church." — Galland. Ep. xx. ad conc.Meliv. n. 1, 
2, 6, p. 602.t Once more : ^^Wfi cannot wonder, 
that your Mendliness follows the institutes of those* 
who have gone before you, and refers unto us, as 
luito the head and chief of the Episcopate, [ad nos 
quasi ad caput atque adapicem episcopatus referre,]* 
whatsoever can cause doubt ; that, by consulting 
the Apostolic See, to wit, it may, even on doubtful 
matters, decide on something that is certain and 
ought to be done." — Galland, t. viii. Ep. xxxviL 
Felici, n. 1 . J Here, indeed, I asked myself, — 

* Clood per amnias provincias de Apostolica fonte petentibus'responsa som- 
^6r emanent Fresertim quotiea fidei ratio ventilatur, arbitior omnes fratres 
jC coepiacqKM noetros nonnisi ad Petmm, id est, sui nominis et honoris auc- 
^rem referre debere, velut nunc retulit vestra dilectio, quod per totum mun- 
■lum possit ecdeeiis omnibas in ccnnmune prodesse. 

t Obsenre the well-known words of St. Augustine on the above decree : 
'<Daoconcilia missa sunt ad sedem Apostolicam inde etiam rescripta vene- 
Hint Causa Jbuta ut ; utinam aliquando flniatur error." — Serm. czzxL 

X The Council of Carthage, represented as assisting the Popes, here makei 
application to Rome as follows: "We have considered that what has been 
done by us was to be made known to your holy charity, that to the decrees 
made by our lowliness there might also be added the OMthoritjf of tke JSpcstoUo 
Sfe, (etiam Apostolica sedis adhibiator auctoritas.''} — Galland. t viiL ep. xxvi 

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Did Pope Innocent I. know nothing of supremacy 
in himself? 

6. I next considered the epistles of Popes Zosi- 
mus and Boniface in the time of Augustine. 

1. The Epistles of Pope 2osimus, the successor 
of St. Innocent, 417. '' Although," says he, " the 
tradition of the Fathers has assigned so great an 
authority to the Apostolic See that no one should 
dare dispute about a judgment given by it, and 
that See, by regulations and canons, has kept to 
this ; and the discipline of the Church, in the laws 
which it yet follows, still pays to the name of Peter; 
from whom that See descends, the reverence due; 
for canonical antiquity, by universal consent, willed 
that so great a power should belong to that Apos- 
tle, a power also derived from the actual promise 
of Christ our God, that it should be his to loose 
what was bound and to bind what was loosed ; an 
equal state of power being bestowed on those who, 
by his will, should be found worthy to inherit his 
See. For he has both charge of all the churches, 
and especially of this wherein he sat ; nor does he 
allow any storm to shake one particle of the privi- 
lege, or any part of the sentence, of that See, to 

which he has given his name as a foundation 

which no one can rashly attack but at hi^ otvn 
peril. Seeing, then, that Peter is the head of so 
great authority, and that he has confirmed the sub- 
sequent decrees of the Fathers, that by all laws, 
human and divine, the Roman Church is strength- 
ened, and you are not ignorant, dearest brethren. 

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that we rule over his place, and are in possession 
of the authority of his name, . . .nevertheless, al- 
though so great be our authority that none may 
refute our sentence, yet we have done nothing 
which we have not of our own will made known 
by letter to you, conceding this to the brother- 
hood." — Ep. xiv.,-p. 18, 19, t. ix., Galland. 2. 
.Next th6 Epistles of St. Boniface, the successor of 
St. Zosimus, 418. Writing to a bishop of the East, • 
he says, ^* On you, dearest brother, devolves the 
entire care of those Churches, which you will rec- 
ognize as having been, by us, intrusted to you as' 
the vicegerent of the Apostolic See."* — Ep. V. 
Rufo. Ep, Thessal. 

Again : " The institution of th^ universal Church 
took its beginning from the honor bestowed upon 
the blessed Peter, in whom its government and 
headship reside.f For from him, as its source, did 
ecclesiastical discipline flow over all the Churches, 
when the culture of religion began to make prog- 
ress. The precepts of the Synod of Nicaea bear 
no other testimony ; insomuch that that Synod did 
not attempt to make any regulations in his regard, 
as it saw nothing could be conferred that was supe- 
rior to his own dignity ; it knew, in fine, that 
every thing had been bestowed on him by the word 
of the Lord. It is, therefore, certain that this 

* daas tibi vice sedis apostolica a nobis creditas recognosces. 

t Institutio universalis ecclesia de beati Petri honore sumsit principum, in 
quo regimen ejus et summa consistit " A sentence/' saya Mr. Waterworth, 
M obviously capable of various rendering.*' 




Church is to the Churches spread over the whole 
world as the head is to its own members ; from 
which Church whoso has cut himself off becomes 
an alien from the Christian religion, whereas he 
has begun to be not in the same bonds of fellow- 

Passing by many striking testimonies, I pro- 
ceeded to Pope Leo, 440, who says, *< The blessed 
Peter ceases not to preside over his own See, and 
he enjoys a never-ceasing fellowship with the ever- 
lasting priest — Christ For that solidity which 
Peter himself also made, a ^ rock ' received from 
the rock Christ, has passed onwards to his heirs 
also."t — T. i. Serm, V. in Natel. Ord. c. iv. 
Again : " Whereas our case is extended through- 
out all the Churches — this being required of us 
by the Loed, who committed the primacy of the 
Apostolic dignity to the most blessed Apostle Peter 
in reward of his faidi, establishing the universal 

Church on the solidity of him, the foimdation 

Wherefore, following the example of those whose 
memory is venerable unto us, we have committed 
to one brother, a fellow-bishop, Anastasius, to act 
in our stead (at Thessalonica). We have enjoined 
him to be watchful. . . .To whom, that your friendli- 
ness, in all things pertaining to ecclesiastical disci- 

* Cum videret, nihil supra meritum suum certum posse conferri, omnia de- 
nique huic noverat Domini sermone concessa. Hanc ergo ecclesiis toto orbe 
difiusis velut caput suonim certum est esse membrorum aqua se quisquis ab- 
Bcidit, fit Christians religi<mis extorris, cum in eadem non ccBperit esse corn- 

t Boliditas enim ilia, quam de Petne Christo etiam ipse Petra ftctos acoepit 
ia suos quoque se transfudit haeredes. 

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pline^ be obedient, we admonish you." — Addressed 
to the Metropolitans throughout Iliricum. — Ep. V. 
c. 2, 8. 

From St Leo I proceeded to Pope Gelasius, 
492. The following is from an encyclical letter to - 
the bishops of Syria, never before cited : " Come, 
you, most honorable, to that which you yourselves 
proclaim the holy chair (See), run to the immovable 
rock of Peter y number yourselves with the Apos- 
tolic choir, make sure the crown of your victory." * 
— Tom. II. p. 655, Ed. Card. Mains. Again: 
" With what reason and what consistency can other 
sees be defended, if the ancient and long-exiati^ 
reverence be not paid to the See of the most blessed 
Peter, the first See, by which the dignity of all 
priests has always been strengthened and con- 
firmed,t and to which, by the invincible and special 
judgment of the three hundred and eighteen 
Fathers, the highest honor was adjudged, as being 
men who bore in mind the Lcwrd's sentence, * Thou 
art Peter ; and upon this rock I will build my 
Churdi.* And again to the same Peter, 'Lo,- I 
have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.' 
And that sentence, * If thou lovest me, feed my 
sheep.' Wherefore, then, is the Lord's discourse 
so frequently directed to Peter ? Was it that the 
rest of the holy and blessed Apostles were not 

* Venite et vos, O honorandiiwimi, ad earn quam vos ipsi sanctara pnedicat- 
tia Cathedram : accurrite ad immobilera Petri petram ; connumerate Tot cboto 
Apostolico ; conflmate victorue veatne coronas. 

t Si prime— Petri wdi antiqua et veluiita leverentia non defertnr, per 
luam omiiiuin saceidotum dignitas somper eat voiMurata atque fimuUa. 

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clothed with like virtue ? Who dare assert this ? 
No ; but that, by a head being constituted, the oc- 
casion of schism might be removed ; and that the 
compact bond of th^body of Christ, thus imiformly 
tending, by the fellowship of a most glorious love, 
to one head, might be shown to be one, and that 
there might be One Church faithfully believed in.* 

For which cause I have said our Fathers, — 

the merits of whose virtues raised them to the con- 
fessor's most glorious palm and to the martyr's 
resplendent crown, — these men, filled with love 
for Christ, referred to that See wherein Peter, the 
prince of the Apostles, the (thence) derived origin 
of their priesthood, seeking thence the weightiest 
Duttresses to give firmness to their soUd structures ; f 
that by this spectacle it may be manifest to all 
men that the Church of Christ is truly one through- 
out and indivisible, a Church which, knit together 
by the bond of concord and the marvellous woof 
of charity, might be seen to be the one coat of 
Christ, seamless throughout. There were assuredly 
twelve Apostles, endowed with equal merits and 
equal dignity ; and whereas aU shone equally with 
spiritual light, yet was it Chrisfs will that one 
among them should be the ruler ; and him, by an 
admirable dispensation, did he guide to Bome 

* Et una monstraretur compago corporis Christi, que ad anum capat glo- 
rio«i8stma dileetionis focietate concurrent ; et una easet eccleda cui fideliter 

t Ad illam sedem Quam princeps Apoetolonim Petnu, aul sacerdotii sampca 
principia repleti Cbristi charitate mittebant, warn inde soUditatis giaviniina 
flrmitatis roboramonta poacentee. 

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and there he shone conspicuous for power of doc- 
trine ; also, made glorious by the shedding of his 
blood, does he repose in a place of everlasting rest, 
granting to the see, which he Ijimself blessed, that 
it be, according to the Lord's promise, never over- 
come by the gates of hell, and that it be the safest 
harbor for the tempest-tossed. In that harbor who- 
soever shall have reposed shall enjoy a blessed and 
eternal place of safety.* "Whereas, he that shall 
have despised it, it is for him to see to it what 
kind of excuses he will plead at the day of judg- 
ment." — T. X. GaUand. p. 672. See also next 
letter. Id. p. 679. Again : « The holy Eoman 
Catholic and Apostolic Church has been raised 
above the other Churches, not by any synodal 
decrees, but from the evangelical voice of our Lord 
and Savior has it obtained the primacy, the saying, 
^ Thou art Peter ; and upon this rock I will build 
my Church.' " — Decret Concl Rom. Sub. Gel. 
Col. 1261, Labb. In ibid. Col. 1275. Pope Ge- 
lasius is called by the second Council of Eome, 
"The Vicar of Christ." 

Here I am forced to forbear. The records to 
the same pojnt are abundant down to the period of 
Gregory the Great. But my time and space are 
limited — and enough, it seemed to me, was con- 
tained in what I have already submitted to make it 
certain that the bishops of Kome, as occupiers of 

* Prestans sedi quam ipse benedixit, ut a fortia inferi nunquam pro Domini 
promisslone vincatur omniumque sit fluctuantium tulissimus portua. In quo 
qui requieverit, beata et eterna statione gaudebit. 

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the See of St. Feter^ supposed themselves possessed 
of a supremacy of jurisdiction, and that their claim 
was never disputed in the early Church ; and that 
Pope Gregory I. is iy>t an exception. He may have 
used strong words in reference to the attempt at 
Constantinople to interfere with the prerogatives of ^ 
the Apostolic See ; but the following was conclu- 
sive in my mind that he held to these prerogatives. 
" The car^," says he in his expostulation with the 
Patriarth John, who had used the title ^* universal 
bishop," — ** the care of the whole Church was 
committed to Peter, and yet he is not called the 
universal Apostle.^^ — J^. IV. 20. And further 
in respect to Constantinople : " Who doubts it is 
subject to the Apostolic See ? " And again : 
** When bishops commit a feult, I know not what 
bishop is not subject to it " — the See of Eome. 
And finally, in his instructions to St Augustine : 
" Wb give you no jurisdiction over the Bishops of 

Gaid But we commit to your care all the 

bishops of Britain, that the ignorant among them 
may be instructed, the weak strengthened, and the 
perverse corrected by your authority." * 

* His. Bede, L L, c 27, Betp. 9, Spelm. Ck>ncil. p. 96. 

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Near the conclusion of the last chapter was a 
citation from Pope Boniface I., in the following 
words : ^^ It is, therefore, certain, that this church " 
(meaning the JRoman) " is, to the churches spread 
over the whole world, as the head is to its own 
members ; from which Church whoso has cut him- 
self off becomes an alien from the Christian 12e- 

In making an application of these words, which 
had seemed to me to be in keeping with holy 
Scripture as understood by the Fathers of the 
Church generally, I asked myself how they com- 
ported with the tone of sentiment and action in the 
early Anglican branch? whether there was any 
thing to justify the assertion of Mr. Blackstone 
(Comm. b. 4, c. 8), that ^*the ancient British 
Church, by whomsoever planted, was a stranger 
to the Bishop of Bome and his pretended au- 
thority V 

Before the middle of the first century, it ap- 
peared that the Romans had acquired, by force of 
arms, considerable territory in Britain. From the 
usual policy of the early Christians, and from the 
£ict that the £iith of the Christians at Some was 
80 soon ^^ spoken of throughout the whole world," 

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(Bom. L 8,) we might, I thought, reasonably sup- 
pose the cross to have entered that country through 
the breach made by the sword. Be this as it may, 
I found that a king of England, if we may trust 
• the venerable Bede, by the Latin name of LmduSj 
became, about the year 167, a convert to Christi- 
anity, and was admitted into the Church by appli- 
cation to the See of Borne. The words of Bede 
are : *^ In the year of the Incarnation of our Lord 
167, Lucius, the King of Britain, sending letters 
to Eleutherius, who had been Bishop of Kome for 
fifteen years with very great credit, humbly peti- 
tioned and obtained the request to be made a 
Christian."* — Epit, V, Bede. Hence it seemed 
to me certain that the Bishop of Kome, in 167, torn 
Tcnovm in Britain, and his authority recognized. 

The next evidence which I discovered of inter- 
course between England and Rome was in the his- 
tory of the Council of Aries. " On the first day 
of August, A. D. 314," says Fleury, "thirty-three 
bishops assembled at Aries, in G^ul, for the pur- 
pose of condemning the Donatist schism. Grreat 
Britain was represented by the bishops of York 
and London, (he should have added Lincoln.) f 
Pope Sylvester sent two legates, -priests, and two 

After condemning the Donatists, &c., th^y sent 

* Anno ab incamatione Domini 167 Eleutherios Romas pnBsnl fkctiui qain« 
declm annos ecclesiam gloriosissime nexit cui litteras Rex Britannise Lucius 
mittens ut Christlanuf efficeretur petit et impleavit 

t See Labbe Conuc i., 1430, corrected by Bede, IL, c 16-18. —OoZe Jlnton, lUr 


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the decision to Pope Sylyester^ together with a 
synodal letter, in which they say, ** Would to God, 
our dear brother, you could have assisted at this 
grand spectacle ; the condemnation of the Dona- 
tists would have been still more seyere, and our 
joy greater ; but you coidd nut leaye those places 
where the Apostles preside [maLs yous ne pouyez 
qidtter ces lieux ou les apostres presedent], and 
where their blood continually renders glory to 
God. And we haye judged according to the an- 
cient usage [selon Tancien uss^e], it belongs prin- 
cipally to you to notify to the others, since you 
hiire the greatest part in the government of the 
Church [la plus grande parte dans le gouyemement 
de Viig\ise]. — Eccl Hist. 18, X. Ch. 14. This 
i^odal letter is signed by all the bishops, includ- 
ing the bishops of Tork, London, and Lincoln, and 
hence shows that, instead of ignorance of the 
Bishop of Bome on the part of the British Church, 
she must haye known, through the document 
digned by three of her bishops at least, that that 
iHshop had the chief part of the government of the 
Church; and this by no modem concession, but 
according to ancient usage; not by any ciyil or 
ecclesiastical arrangement, but by that right which 
springs from the possession of the See ** where the 
ApostUs preside.** 

The next discoyerable intercourse between Eng- 
land and Bome I found was in the great Council 
of Nice, 325. Among the three hxmdred and 
eighteen bishops assembled in this Council, St. 

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Athanasius places^ it is thought^ the bishops of Brit* 
ain. — Li Hist Asia, ad Manach. n. 28, p. 860^ 
T. L Ed. 1698. Be this so or not^ it is certain 
that in the second Council of Alexandria^ 363^ 
Britain is named among the countries who had re- 
ceived the decrees of Nice. — Labbe^ T. iL coL 825. 
Now it is well known, not only that in the Council 
of Nice itself did the legates of Borne assert the 
supremacy of that See, but also that in the decrees 
of the Council such supremacy was distinctly ad- 
mitted. If -tkere can be any question of the mean- 
ing of the sixth Canon from the obscurity of its 
wording, that question is settled by the under- 
standing of those who liyed nearest the time. 
Pope Grelasius, in the following century, seemed to 
me trustworthy authority, where he says, as al- 
ready dted, **For with what reason and what con- 
sistency can other sees be def<^ded, if the ancient 
and long-existii^ reverence be not paid to the See 
of the most blessed Peter, the first See, by which 
the dignity of aU priests has always been strength- 
ened and confirmed, and to which, by the inoinci- 
hie and fecial judgment of the three hundred and 
eighteen Fathers, the highest honor was adjudged, 
as based on the declaration of our Lord, Matt 
xvi 18.*' ♦ 

But if any thing were wanting to this authority, 
it appeared to be supplied by the great Council of 
Sardica, A. D. 347, which has ever been considered^ 

* Bm alfo citation ftom Fbpc Bonilhe*. 

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I believe^ by the learned as supplementary to tliat 
of Nice. In this Council of Sardica^ Britain^ I 
founds from Athanasius,* was represented ; while 
its acts emphatically recognized the primacy or 
supreme prerogatives of the See of Rome. The 
following may be seen in Canon iv. as proposed by 
Hsesius: "I£ any bishop be condemned in any 
cause^ and thinks the cause is good^ and that a 
new trial ought to take place, . . .let us honor the 
memory of the holy Apostle Peter, and let those 
who inyestigated the cause write to the Boman 
bishop ; and if he judge that a new trial ought to be 
had, let it be granted, and let him appoint judges. 
But, if he judge that the cause is such that the 
proceedings should not be called in question, they 
shall be confirmed. Is this the will of all? the 
Synod answered. It is our wUl.^* f This, with other 
Canons regulating appeals, was forwarded to Pope 
Julius, in a Synodal letter, in which the Fathers 
say, ''This will seem to be excellent and most 
suitable, if the priests of the Lord report to the 
head, that is^ to the See of the Apostle Peter, from 
the several provinces.*^ $ 

Here, then, the proof seemed to me incontroyer- 
tible, that, in the year 347, the Church in Britain 
must both have Jcnovm and acknowledged the au- 
thority of the See of St Peter. 

* In Apologia Cent Aiian. n. 1, Tom. L part L ed. 1698. 
t Cone. Sard. can. tv. Tom. L Sard. Cone col. 640. 
X Hoc enim qitimum et valde congraentissimam erne videlitar, ai ad ca|mt. 
Id est, ad Petri ApostoH sedem, de singulis quibosque proyinciii Domini reft- 
1 rant saoerdotes. — fijp. SffiuL Strd, Hntrd, cd. cohc, Tom.-i. 

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During the first quarter of the fifth century^ 1 
found Felagiftnism made such fearful progress in 
Britain as to require the interference of the chief 
watchman of the Church; and hence that Pope 
Celestine, in about 428, was induced, by the rep- 
resentations of the deacon Palladius, to despatch 
Germanus, a bishop of Gaul, in his name to the 
British Church,* to arrest, if possible, the growing 
eviL Lupus, the Bishop of Troyes, was appointed 
to accompany him. Their misdon was eminently 
sQCcessfiiL Yea, to tise the language of another, 
''The triumph .of orthodoxy was complete; and 
Germanus, before he quitted the scene of victory, 
visited the tomb of St. Alban, where he deposited 
a small box of relics that he l»rought with him 
from Gaul, taMi^ in exchange a handful of dust 
from the grave, that he might place it in a new 
Church at Auxerre, which he afterwards dedicated 
in honor of the British martyr.'' f 

I learned from Constantius, however, in his life 
of Germanus, that this bishop was sent in conse- 
quence of a new outbreak of the heresy a second 
time, but found very little difficulty in suppress- 
ing itt 

Bere, again, early in the fifth century, we find 

• Ad actionem Palladii diaconi Papa Celestiiuu Gennanum Antiaiodo- 
retuein Episcopiun vice sua mitdt, at deturbatis hfereticia, Britannes ad Catho- 
licamfidemdirigat— &iVM2Mrmdkroii.amio429. In writing against Cassian 
be repeats the same ; and at he was a contempoiaiy with Germanns, living in 
Ganl, and being afterwards secretary to St Celestiiie, no better anthoritar ^onU 
be JUlied. 

t The fiM» taken irom V. Bade, i c 18. 

t See also Erric and Btd0,with Uaher, BriL JtA, MuL c. zii. 

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/ • 

the Bishop of the Holy See exercising his authority 
in Britain, through a vicar, who is received there 
with open arms, and listened to with all the respect 
suitable to his high commission. No one, there- 
fore, it seemed to me, coidd justly affirm that, in 
the fifth century, the Church in Britain was " a 
stranger either to the Bishop of Bome or his au- 

About the middle of this century, it is well 
known that the Bomans were compelled to with- 
draw their arms ; and the Christians were driven 
back into bordermg islands or mountain £|ptnesse8 
before the invading Saxons. Thus cut off from 
communication with the other portions of the 
Catholic Church, it struck me as reasonable that 
they would become lax in their discipline, and Ml 
a prey, perhaps, to the prevailing heresies — partic- 
ularly as the heresies seem, after the mission of 
Germanus, to have extended themselves in the 
mountains of Wales. Hence I was not surprised 
to find that the British historian, Gildas, writing 
about 550, represented the Christians as having 
become, in his time, sadly deteriorated both in faith 
and morals. Still he gave them credit generally, 
as I perceived, for orthodoxy in respect to the 
doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation of our 
Lord, and future rewards and punishments; and 
also stated that, among other Catholic truths and 
usages, they looked upon St. Peter as the Prince 
of the Apostles, and the source of all priestly au- 
thority in the Church. 

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Thus far, therefore, the accumulative force of 
the testimony is utterly against the assertion of Mr. 
Blackstone. But there is one more item. 

On looking further into the Epitome of the V. 
Bede, I discovered the following record : *' In the 
year 430, the Scots having believed in Christ, Pal- 
ladius was sent to them by Pope Coelestine, as their 
first bishop/** 

Here again was an act, which, to my mind, 
implied at least that, in the year of our Lord 430, 
the Christians in Britain were under the supervision 
of the Jloly See, and hence must have known and 
recognized its authority. 

These fiicts served with me a double purposoij 
1st, to show with what caution we should receive 
"the statements of the best Protestant authority in 
England, when they relate to the jurisdiction or 
Primacy of the See of St. Peter ; and, 2dly, to 
enable me to see the little value which should be 
put upon the opposition that Augustine met with 
ftom the Welsh bishops and monks, in liis efforts 
to j)lant Christianity among our Saxon forefathers. 
For if these bishops and monks, as it is pretended, 
knew nothing of the prerogatives of the Holy See, 

• Anno 490, Falladius ad Scotas in Christam, credentes a CoBlestin. Papa 
primus mittitur Episcopus. — F. Bede, epitome. 

Though the documents are few, and the proofs somewhat inferential, which 
Bhow that the Church in Britain acknowledged the supremacy of the Holy See, 
atill both seemed to me sufficient, when taken with the unquestionable fact 
that Britain was in full communion with the Catholic Church, and that this 
Church, at the period to which we allude, held it necessary for every Church 
to be in submission to the See of St. Peter as the centre of Divine unity and 
the source of Apostolic iwwer. 


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it was clear to my mind that their want of knowl- 
edge must have been owing to their general igno- 
rance ; to their Jiaving so long been cut off, by the 
wars of the Saxons, from all communication with 
other Christians, as to have lost sight of their real 
privileges and duty as members of the one body of 
Christ. But it struck me that perhaps the more 
natural solution of the difficulty might be found in 
a mistake on our part as to the real nature of their 
opposition to Augustine — an opposition growing, 
not so much out of prejudice to his religious views, 
as out of dislike to his apparent friendship with 
their Saxon oppressors.* Be this as it may, I 

* A certain document, found in Wilkin's and Spelman's Councils, purport- 
ing to have been the answer of Dinoth to Augustine, is pleaded, as indicating, 
on the part of the Church of the Britons, an ignorance of the jurisdiction of 
Rome. In answer let it be observed, that this document (1) bears intrinsic 
marks of spuriousness. It professes to have been written* soon after the Saxon 
invasion, and by a people who detested the Saxon race, and yei it contains two 
Saxon vDordsy Mb^ and cMmio, which, under the circumstances, is hardly con- 
sistent with its genuineness. (3) It speaks of the Arch-episcopal See as then 
being at KaerUn on UakSf when by reference to the Antiquities of the Church of 
Britainj by Archbishop Usher, chap. v. p. 64-65, 1 found that this See had ac 
tnally been transferred, fi^ years before the time of Augustine, to Meneoiam, 
or the present St David's. 

Besidee, the document I found was not only not mentioned by the V. Bede, 
but seemed to me not reconcilable with the account which he gives, Book it, 
ch. 3, of the interview between St. Augustine Khd the Welsh Bishops. And 
finally, the matter of the document could not, except on the ground of great 
ignorance or culpable blindnesSf be reconciled with what I knew, from the 
above testimonies, to be both the knowledge and submission of the early British 
Church to the See of Rome. 

I cannot dismiss tliis point without remarking upon the strange inconsisten- 
cy of Protestant writers, as it seemed to me, in respect to what they call the 
introduction of Popery into England. When they are seeking testimony against 
the Supremacy of the Holy See, they cite Gregory the Great as rejecting that 
mpremacyy ou the ground of its l)eing anti-Christian, &c. But when they are 
endeavoring to account for its introduction into JQsgland, they ascribe it, I 
found, to the assumption of Jurisdiction over Engtond by this very Pope Greg- 
ory, tlirough his missionary, Augubtine. 

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could not shut from my mind the truths made so 
clear by the documents above cited^ that the 
Church in England did not^ during that early 
period of the faith, form an exception to the uni- 
versal recognition of the primacy of St. Peter. 
And, besides, after an attentive examination of the 
various outbreaks in England, under the domina- 
tion of the Catholic rule, before the Beformation, I 
could see no evidence that, at any time, the Church 
was dissatisfied with the existing religion ; but only 
that the secular power, becoming jealous of the in- 
^ fluence of the Church, acting in her Satholic, 
rather than in a national, capacity, endeavored, by 
statutes of pramunire, and at times by violent per- 

In my remarks above on the spuriooa document, I submitted what I said in 
ngvd to the two wmrds, helpio and deimioj to an eminent Welsh scholar, who 
at first concurred, Imt subsequently sent me the following correction : — 

** In the supposed document of Dinoth, it was a mistake to call * claimio,' 
or * deimio,* (as it is written,) a Saxon word, as it is obviously firom the Latin 

** But this fiict renders the document still more suspicious, as ftur as Philol- 
ogy is concerned. 

*< * Claimio ' could not be derived from the early intercourse of the Britons 
with their Roman conquerors. 

*< (1) Because the tense of the word is not its classical sense, but a significa- 
tion which it obtained in later jurisprudence, and is current in the Norman 
law language. 

" Because it is a form contrary to the genius of the Welsh language ; and, tn 
fact, there exists in Welsh the identical word elamare, with its proper signifi- 
cation, and in the form which the Britons gave to similar derivatives: they 
changed the initial d into their a, or aspirated L 

*♦ * * * * • • • 

" It seems, therefore, to me clear that the word * claimio,' in the aensi and 
in the form in which it appears in the supposed answer of Dinoth, was de- 
rived from our English language after the Normans had, especially in the 
Courts of Law, given us so many Gallicanized Latin words. The document, 
therefore, is later than the time in which such Norman words had (1) become 
current in England, and (2) communicated to^our Welsh neighbors." 

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secution, to separate her from the centre of Catho- 
lic unity. But never till the reign of Henry VIII. 
did it seem to me to have succeeded in effectually 
sundering the tie which bound her to that source 
of divine authority and to that standard of infal- 
lible truth. 

By the above incontrovertible evidence, there- 
fore, I was brought to this conviction, that that 
divine, visible, and ever-living headship of the 
'* One, holy. Catholic, and apostolic Church,'* mili- 
tant, which, from the very nature, constitution, and 
office of that Church seemed to me so necessary, 
was actually provided by our Lord in the appoint- 
ment of St. Peter to that headship, — St. Matt. 
xvi. 18 ; St. John xxi. 15-17, — as understood and 
acted upon in her submission to the See of St. 
Peter at Rome, by '* the one, holy. Catholic, and 
apostolic Church," to the present day; and that, 
to have vital evangelical union with Christ, cer- 
tainly in the faithfulness of charity and good hope 
of salvation, it is by God's institution made essen- 
tial that each and every member of Christ's body 
be in visible and%:eal fellowship with* that See. 
And hence that no one, not Maintaining such fel- 
lowship, can have authority to exercise the office, 
either of bishop, priest, or deacon, in the Church 
of God. And, therefore, the inevitable conclusion 
that the act of Henry VIII., perpetuated by Eliza- 
beth and her Parliament, and shared in by the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, 
was an act of fatal schism — annulling all authority 

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to exercise the priestly functions in Grod's CJiurch, 
and endangering the salvation of the sonls em* 
braced within its scope.* 

To this pointy then^ dear brethren and friends^ 
after long and painful examination^ after laboring 
and suffering under the misgivings of conscience for 
years^ after various and humiliating endeavors to 
reconcile that conscience to my distrusted Protes- 
tant position^ have I come at length through the 
marvellous grace of God. In the progress of my 
mind to its present happy state, it has passed 

* The object of my wodE did not lead me necessarily to speak of the pod 
ticm citbe present Qreek Church. 

It will be perceiyed, however, that a large part of the Fathers which I hav» 
dted to bear witness to the SuiN«maqr of the See of St Peter bekmged to the 
early Greek Church, and hence go to convict the modem Greek Chorch of 
schism in her present melanch<dy separation firom Borne. But the recent pub- 
licati(m of the work of Cardinal Maiu^ already alluded to, has enabled me to 
adduce another later, and, if possible, more impOTtant, Greek authority. It is 
that of St MeephonUf Patriarch of Constantinople. He is writing on the See- 
cnd CouneU qf Jfiee, and gives the following testimcmy : ** Indeed, this synod 
is of the very highest authority, apd capable of giving the faith in all its ful- 
ness ; because it is ceitmemea!, and wholly unfettered injts action, and above 
the reach of calumny and reproach, and tfaiged with no spurious doctrine, and 
in all respects perfect. For it was not only conducted equitably, but in tlie 
highest sense and degree according to law. For, as required by the divine de- 
crees ancienjy set forth, the chief part of the authority which swayed and pre- 
sided over its councils, proceeded fix»n that Westepi Headship (of the Church), 
aneient Rome. Without which no dogma, that had been discussed in the 
Church or bad the sanction of hierarchical usage, can ever be ccmsidered 
proved or binding in practice ; because this sacerdotal Jurisdiction stands pre- 
eminent, both by original constimtion and by the elevation or dignity it has 
acquired from two chief Apostles. ** * — & JfieqpJL Patriareh. CoiutpL Ton. v. p. 
174. Ed, Card. Maio. 

* Etenim celebrata fiiit squissime et in primis legitime: na 
edita antiqnitus Divina decreta praeminebat in ea prmsidebat que ex oeddentaU 
fasHgiOy id est, ex vetere Roma, pars non modica : sine quibus (Romania) ullum 
dogma, qnod in ecclesia ventilatum decretis canonicis et sacerdotali consuetu^ 
dine fuit antea ratum ; nunquam tamen probatum habebitur, neque in prazim 
deducetur ; quia illi sacerdotii principatum scntitii sunt, eamque dignitatem « 
duobus coryphaela Apostolis traditam habont 

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through the following stages of manifest truth : 
1. I have seen, with a clearness which I cannot 
well express, that '* the friendship of the world is 
at enmity with God." That *' we cannot serve two 
masters " — cannot secure the favor of two utterly 
and mutually opposed worlds. 2. That every dic- 
tate of reason echoes the voice of God — *' what can 
it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose 
his own soul ? " 3. That, to save the soul, self-will 
must be renounced, and God's will be submissively 
followed. 4. That the facts that God has re- 
vealed His will — that he commands us to know 
His will — that he promises to "lead us to all 
truth " in respect to it — all concur with the yearn- 
ings of our hearts to justify the expectation of 
certainty in faith. 5. That, to se6ure such cer- 
tainty, Christ leads us out of ourselves and away 
from every mere human aid, and invites us to 
^' take His yoke and learn oiHim ; " to look, through 
His commissioned priesthood, to Himself, as our 
ever-living, ever-present, ever-unfailing teacher 
and guide. 6. That, while professedly having a 
part in that priesthood, and so appearing as Christ's 
representative in teaching His infallible will, I felt 
in my conscience wholly imable to tell with cer- 
tainty, and in many vital particulars, what that 
will is. 7. That, when I turned for relief to my 
brethren associated with me in the Episcopate, 
(and here let me affectionately and earnestly appeal 
to them for the truth of my convictions,) I found 
that the uncertainty had increased almost in a 

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direct ratio witfi the increase of numbers^ till con- 
fusion^ and discord^ and mutual strife were the 
only answers that met the anxious sinner as he 
came to inquire, " What must I do to be saved ? ** 
8. That such a state of things so unfiriendly to 
truth — so utterly repugnant to the declared pur- 
poses of Christ's priesthood — so absolutely submis- 
sive of the unity and Catholicity of His Church — 
so derogatory to His honor, and so fatal to His 
promise, could not possibly proceed from His own 
institution. And hence, 9. That the cause of this 
doubt and misery, attendant upon the working of 
the Anglican Communion and her American daugh- 
ter, must be sought in that fatal act which separated 
her from a divinely constituted spiritual head, the 
representative of Christ, and placed her professedly 
under the supreme guidance of a temporal sover- 
eign, but, in reality, under the direction of each 
individual judgment. 10. And finally, that that 
Church, which is the body of Christ, and which, as 
such, we are all commanded by him to '* Acar," is 
manifestly that "one Catholic and apostolic Church" 
which, at first founded by Him on the "rock,** 
St. Peter, has ever since enjoyed His own presence, 
as the centre of unity and source of apostolic power 
in the See of that prince of the apostles. And 
that this Church, made manifest by her divine 
foundation and her no less divine preservation, 
yea, by her obvious principle of divine life and 
cohesion and assimilation,* rewards every sincere 

* AssimilaUoji, I mean, not of ducUine, but of miutU, and labors, and holy 

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effort to inyestigate her claims by new proofs of 
her divinity — by maldng it more clear, the more 
closely her history is examined, that she has 
always, every where, and by all her sons, held and 
taught the " one faith, once for all delivered to the 
paints." That what has been charged upon her as 
an addition to that faith is resolvable either into 
necessary and lawful changes in her discipline and 
ceremonial, into the unauthorized extravagances 
of overwrought individual minds, or the miscon- 
ceptions, exaggerations, and misstatements of in- 
terested opponents. That, in short, the Fathers 
of the first five centuries taught as distinctly, 
though not as formally as did the Fathers of the 
Coimcil of Trent, the various dogmas set forth 
by that Council as necessary to the faith and prac- 
tice of the Christian man. And hence, that the 
Gospel standard of faith, and the Gospel rule of 
obedience, are to be found only within her pale ; 
particularly as she alone professes to have, through 
the presence of Christ, that infallibility which is 
essential to such a standard, and in her members 
that childlike submission without which such a 
rule would be useless — " Except ye be converted, 
and become as little children, ye cannot enter into 
the kingdom of heaven.*' 

Furthermore, dear brethren and friends, I came 
to these convictions, as I have written this letter, 
under the operations of my own mind.* The cir- 

* Hero I feel it to be my duty, from the circumstances in which I am placed, 
to declare distinctly and positively that each and every part of this letter was 




cumstancefl in which I had just been placed by the 
difficulties in my diocese forced me to keep my 
troubles of mind much to mjselL Often my op- 
pressed spirit yearned for some confidential ear into 
which to pour out its griefs ; but^ warned by sad 
experience^ I hesitated to trust a distinct knowl- 
edge of these griefs beyond my own breast. 

The last year and a half of my episcopate was^ 
I can truly say^ the most trying^ the most pain- 
fol, period of my life ; although one of apparent 
quietness^ official success^ and restored confidence. 
After the immediate effects of my convention in 
the spring of 1851 (which^ as you will remem- 
ber> resulted in a reconciliation between myself and 
the disaffiscted part of my diocese) had passed ofi*^ 
and my mind^ long pressed down by a weight of 
sore trials had time to reacts it came up at once^ 
and to my own surprise^ to its former level of 
Catholic belief: indeed^ it was like waking firom 
a pleasant dream to a frightful reality. I had 
actually flattered myself into the belief that my 
doubts had left me^ and that. I could henceforward 
act with a quiet conscience on Protestant ground. 
But, on recovering firom the stupefaction of over- 
much sorrow, I foxind myself fearfully deceived; 
found that what I had taken for permanent relief 
of mind was only the momentary insensibility of 

written, except where I have given credit, without the dictation, suggestion, or 
help or any one but God ; and that the books I consvlted in writing it were the 
books I had read while a Protestant, except in the instances of Passaglia^s 
Commtntaryf Oovl'* RitMit Gfrtacorunt, ^c,, Pamnu*s PrwU^ionu, ^e., and 
Card. JKkm'a Book qf kitiUrto WfubUth^d Fatkon. 

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opiates or exhaustion. When I came again to my- 
self, however, I was visited with reflections which 
no man need envy. The concessions I had made, 
in good faith at the time, for the peace of the 
Church, and, as I had Msely supposed, for my own 
peace, rose up be^re me as so many concessions, 
and cowardly ones too, to the god of this world. 
So that I can say with the deepest truth that the 
friendliness which greeted me on my subsequent 
visitation through my diocese was most unwelcome 
to my heart, ^very kind word of those who had 
spoken against the truth seemed a rebuke to me, 
every warm shake of the hand to fell like ice upon 
my soul. I felt that I had shrimk publicly from 
the consequences of that truth which God had 
taught me — felt that I had denied that blessed 
Master who had graciously revealed Himself to me. 
But blessed be His name for that grace which 
moved me to " weep bitterly." Persecution for 
Christ's sake would then have been bahn to my 
wounded conscience. And nothing, I think, but 
the precarious state of one whom I had vowed to 
" keep in sickness as well as health " prevented an* 
earlier avowal of my disquietude and an earlier 
abandonment of my diocese. . 

For all this suffering, however, Grod forbid that 
I should blame any one but mysel£ Others may 
have acted according to their conscientious convic- 
tions ; I resisted mine, and on grounds that would 
not bear the test of calm reflection, and how much 

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less the searclimg light of Eternity ! I ought to 
have known myself better ; ought to have known 
the way of God's grace and truth better. Per- 
haps^ however, — and here I try to comfort myself, 
— there may be in all this a tokeil of Divine mercy ; 
for it may have prepared me to bear the more 
patiently the heavy cross which was to be laid upon 
me, to drink the more readily of that bitter chalice 
which was put into my hand. For I can now say, 
with a depth of truth which no one but a Catholic 
can understand, " The Lord is my light and my 
salvation ; whom, then, shall I fear ? The Lord 
is the strength of life ; of whom, then, shall I be 
afraid?" And further, I can now suflfer, as a 
Catholic alone can comprehend, and count it all 
joy, if it only be for Christ and heaven. 

And now, dear brethren, I have only to add, 
take warning by my suflFerings ; take courage by 
my blessings ; take example from Him " who en- 
dured the cross, despisii^ the shame, and is set 
down at the right hand of God." The scenes of 
earth will soon be past, and we shall then feel the 
true force of our Lord's words, ^' He that forsaketh 
not all that he hath cannot be my disciple." 

I have loved you well ; I have labored for you 
earnestly ; and now I feel it to be a privilege, too 
great for human tongue to express, to be able each 
day to plead in your behalf the sacrifice of a pjfes- 
ent God and Savior; yea, lo plead that He may 
ere long, through the riches of His own mercy and 

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the power of His condescending love, make you 
partakers of the new and unutterable joy which I 
now feel, when I declare before God that " I be- 
lieve one Catholic and Apostolic Church/* 
Faithfully and affectionately. 

Your Friend and Servant, 



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